Since we started working in KB+ (in 2011), our main priority has been to fulfil
the e-resources management requirements of the UK academic institutions. KB+ is
a Knowledge Base in which metadata is
processed, normalised and augmented; it thus provides a system that librarians
can use to manage their subscriptions and entitlements. KB+ consists of three
main modules (plus another in development), and has several in-built tools that
enable users to perform diverse library management operations.
Institutions have always welcomed, and still continue to welcome the concept of Knowledge Base Plus. It has
been built in close collaboration with librarians, consortia and other UK
bodies such as SCONUL and RLUK, from whom we have received much useful advice. This
community-centred approach has meant that early adopters of KB+ have been active
participants, providing insightful information to the development work.
In 2015 we undertook a piece of research about how KB+ is being
used now. The results of this research can be found on the User Cases,
published on our webpage. The User Cases reflect how the system is being
used to perform various library management operations and how users found KB+
beneficial to their performance, both adding value and saving them time.
A secondary outcome of this research was a series of
problems related to the user interface, including complexity of vocabulary,
difficulties with orientation in the site, etc.
We took these comments on board and carried out a second
piece of research specific to the user interface. The aim of this project was
to gather feedback from users to help us identify the main problem areas for those
using the system.
The main outcomes of this research are:
KB+ modules are well used and integrated in internal
KB+ openness and credibility are both essential elements of
present and future success
The main concern about the interface was that KB+ design is
more complex than necessary. Database design is the predominant approach in the
present KB+ and it is not the simplest way to do things for users. A second
highlighted concern is the large amount of information displayed, which is not always
necessary to the users to perform their tasks.
We want to analyse and redesign the current user interface
to ensure that the high-quality tools are accompanied by a smooth and straightforward
user experience. We aim to ensure that users feel confident that using KB+ adds
value to their work, increasing the efficiency of their library operations. This
could take the form of giving a better experience to their patrons, saving them
valuable time or raising their levels of performance.
We are very pleased to be working with M/A and Pure
Usability on this project, as well as with our long-term partners SERO and
We have specifically chosen a user-centred design approach
for this project. This enables us to ensure KB+ new interface is optimised to
our users’ needs, and is helpful, engaging and easy to operate. We
look forward to receiving input and feedback from the KB+ community. If you are
interested in participating, please send us a line to our email address email@example.com
Some of the activities for which you can volunteer are:
Vocabulary Survey: Our aim is to produce a clearly defined
vocabulary to support a consistent, understandable use of terms across KB+. To
gather your feedback, we would be very grateful if you could spend few minutes
completing this survey at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/LQW7GCD (this survey is currently open).
User Testing: We would like to establish a group of users who
are happy to participate in the prototyping testing. The testing session could
take up to 30 minutes, and there will be several testing opportunities as the
project develops. I you wish to be involved in prototyping testing, please
contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
We are keen to hear from
new users, existing users and non-users, so if you would like to help please do
not hesitate to get in touch.
Last updated: February 2017