lipstick on a pig, more wisdom from Roy Tennant

I’ll be on the road for a few days at the New Hampshire Library Association conference. I wanted to add one link before I left, just so I’d know what was at the top of the page if I decided to show off this blog. Roy Tennant’s article Lipstick on a Pig, about the sorry state of OPAC interfaces, was just what I was looking for.

Recently I viewed a library catalog redesign before it went public. This was the first major change in many years, and it turned out to be quite an improvement to the look and feel of the system. But despite this, it still sucks. Badly.

I don’t know how much time was spent on this cosmetic facelift, but until the deeper problems that plague this system are addressed, users will remain poorly served. Librarians appear to be afflicted with a type of myopia. We see only minor, easy-to-make corrections instead of changes that will truly affect the user experience. We ask our vendors to tweak this or that to make our lives easier, while the users are left to founder on an interface that only a librarian could love.