BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - Jan. 15, 2005: Setting a new precedent in library software development, Endeavor Information Systems announced a new usability initiative that embraces user-focused interface design and usability testing as integral components of Endeavor's advanced technology library systems. Changing the face of traditional interfaces, Endeavor's usability initiative sets a new bar for library software development.
Announced this morning at Endeavor's semi-annual Digital Library Breakfast, held in conjunction with the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting, Endeavor's usability initiative is a multi-faceted approach to addressing the needs of today's staff and patron end users who demand clear and simple vehicles for information access. With user-focused interfaces, end users experience higher degrees of success and satisfaction with library systems.
The Endeavor Usability Initiative approaches software development with the end user in mind, to an extent that actual end users are involved in the development process of Endeavor software interfaces.
Already, libraries are benefiting from the results of usability testing conducted with three of Endeavor's library systems. User-focused testing has driven the interface design for ENCompass for Journals OnSite, Endeavor's system for searching and browsing journal content from multiple publishers in one location; the redesign of ENCompass for Resource Access, Endeavor's proven tool for federated searching; and ground-up development of the Meridian system for efficient, effective management of electronic resources.
This morning's Digital Breakfast explained Endeavor's recent work in usability and future plans. Illustrating the experience of the first libraries to partner with Endeavor for usability testing, Brenda Reeb, Director of the Management Library at the University of Rochester, unveiled the transformation of her library's local ENCompass end user interfaces and their impact to her end users. Chris Jasek, Team Leader of the Elsevier User Centered Design Team, highlighted the qualities involved in user-focused interfaces. Sara Randall, Endeavor Director of Product Strategy, affirmed current usability testing results incorporated into ENCompass and Meridian development and announced plans for user-focused interface design and usability in more of Endeavor's systems, including the Voyager integrated library management system.
Learn More at the ALA Midwinter Meeting
Attendees of the ALA Midwinter Meeting have two opportunities to learn more about Endeavor's usability initiatives in specific systems. Endeavor's experiences with usability testing with ENCompass for Resource Access and Meridian are highlighted in the Experience It with Endeavor presentation, “Usability Testing: Better Feedback from End-Users = Better Service for Libraries.” The free presentation is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday in Conference Room 2 of the Sheraton Boston.
Further explanation of Endeavor's interface work with ENCompass and usability testing is featured in Monday's 10 a.m. ALA Technology Showcase session, “The Big Reveal With Results They'll Love: Making Over Staff and End-User Interfaces With Usability Testing.” This free session will be held in the Cape Cod Theater of the John B. Hynes Convention Center.
Free Usability Guide Available Now
Ensuring librarians have the knowledge to begin local usability testing for library websites or interfaces, Endeavor is distributing a free guide to usability testing. Developed from Endeavor's usability testing experience with several academic libraries, the Endeavor guidelines help library staff run local “guerilla” usability testing to ensure end users have a positive online experience. To download Endeavor's usability resource, visit www.endinfosys.com/usability.htm.
About Endeavor Information Systems
Endeavor Information Systems, based in Des Plaines, IL, was founded in September of 1994. A wholly owned subsidiary of Elsevier, Endeavor offers a complete line of library solutions for traditional and digital collections. Visit Endeavor at www.endinfosys.com for more information about Endeavor Meridian, Voyager, ENCompass or LinkFinderPlus.