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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Speedy website coming your way

Coming soon to your smartphone, tablet, and desktop computer: A lightning fast, Libraries website. The site is expected to launch in January as part of the roll out of MNCAT Discovery, the Libraries new search tool.

The new website will have a flexible, responsive design that is optimized first for smart phones. The site likely will include a single, blended search box with an option for advanced searches.

So, speed and a mobile-first design are the top goals for the new site, which is being designed by the Libraries web development team. But why?

Speed because web users are notoriously impatient. In its own research, Google has found that a half-second delay in delivering search results can reduce traffic by 20 percent. Amazon.com estimates that every 100 milliseconds of delay costs them 1 percent in sales.
Mobile-first is a goal because speed is even more important on a smart phone. And because the growth of mobile use is growing rapidly as people use their smart phones and other devices to search the Internet and conduct research. University Libraries has seen the growth of mobile usage on it site double in each of the last two years from 2 percent to 4 percent to 8 percent.

The new website and MNCAT Discovery

MNCAT Discovery, the Libraries new search tool, will greatly expand and enhance a user's ability to search print and digital resources. MNCAT Discovery is expected to go live in January 2014, at about the same time as the the new website. The site will include a single search box to search Libraries books and other holdings, in addition to articles and related materials.

In the Libraries' 2010 survey, the overwhelming majority who responded said that they were interested in a broader search that went beyond just our own physical collections. MNCAT Discovery will provide this and more, while still allowing users to search specific databases. The Libraries will continue user testing before going live in January and will continue to fine-tune this new search tool going forward.