Bug #5620

"Results with digital objects" information is confusing

Added by Tim Hutchinson over 8 years ago. Updated almost 8 years ago.

Status:VerifiedStart date:09/20/2013
Priority:MediumDue date:
Assignee:Jesús García Crespo% Done:


Category:Search / Browse
Target version:Release 2.1.0
Google Code Legacy ID: Tested version:
Sponsored:No Requires documentation:


This follows up on a discussion with our local web usability expert, who has worked quite a bit with the Archives here - so has an understanding of archival descriptions but brings an outside perspective as well as usability expertise.

The most violent reaction I got was when we did a general search and saw the result "38 results with digital objects. Show all"

- this text seems to be more prominent (partly a colour issue) than the overall results
- "show all" is misleading since it could mean show all, not just descriptions with digital objects
- this feature is privileging other facets, and assumes the user is most interested in descriptions with digital objects
- overall there was much confusion!

- instead of the current approach, open up the media types facet
- but this heading could perhaps be reworded so that it's clear that it just relates to digital objects - I initially assume this referred to the media types of the material in the description (e.g. GMD)


#1 Updated by Dan Gillean over 8 years ago

  • Category set to Search / Browse
  • Assignee set to Jesús García Crespo
  • Target version set to Release 2.1.0

Hi Tim,

Thanks for this feedback. A couple of notes:

1) The label has already been changed in our dev branch - it now reads "Show results with digital objects" instead of "Show all". See issue #5227

2) Part of this is a sort of workaround at present, for the current limitations of the facet filters (there is discussion of this on #5278). Digital object is already a facet, and allows a user to limit the results by type (image, audio, video, text, etc). At present multiple facets cannot be selected within the same filter, so there is no way to view images AND audio etc in the same search results page (unless you go to Browse > Digital Objects - but currently there are no facets on this page save for media type - so it's all or one - and a user is not given any details about the description in question, just a large thumbnail in a tiled browse). Adding this option was a way to allow users to see all descriptions with digital objects in the "details" view - ie, with title, identifier, scope and content etc. visible. It can certainly be improved, but I think for now it fulfills a function that is missing in 2.0.0

3) Another part of this comes out of the fact that 2.0 was built with the ArchivesCanada portal in mind. During the requirements phase, we heard strong interest in highlighting content with digital objects, as end users browsing in a multi-repository environment (especially those unused to working with archival materials) are more drawn to rich content (digital objects) than plain-text descriptions. The hope at the time was also that this would encourage participating institutions to upload more digital objects, encouraging users to stay on the site more and dig deeper.

If this remains a sticking point for your users, one development option would be to include the visibility of this element in Admin > Settings (or Admin > Visible elements, etc.) somewhere, so a user could turn on/off whether or not it is displayed. In the meantime, if you are interested, I could speak to our developers and find out what snippet of code you would have to remove or hide to make this option invisible to users.

#2 Updated by Tim Hutchinson over 8 years ago

Hi Dan,
Thanks for your detailed notes about this. Glad to hear that the label is changed, and I now see that this is the case on our test server - I think I must have missed that since my current test database doesn't have much in the way of digital objects, and I was relying a bit on the AC beta site. I may come back to this as we deal with how the institutional scoping works, but in general we are trying to avoid customizations that aren't workable for the core product.

#3 Updated by Sarah Romkey almost 8 years ago

  • Status changed from New to Verified

Marking this as Verified as it seems the most critical functionality was taken care of. If in the future adding "results with digital objects" to the visible elements menu becomes a requirement for someone that can be listed as a feature request.

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