Andornot's November 2015 Newsletter Now Available

by Jonathan Jacobsen Tuesday, November 17, 2015 9:05 AM

Our November 2015 newsletter has been emailed to subscribers and is available to read here.

In this issue:

  • A Round-up of Andornot's Summer Projects to Inspire You
  • Meet with Andornot at Upcoming Conferences and Events
  • Tips and Tricks: Upgrading to DB/TextWorks and WebPublisher PRO version 15
  • Tweets: Round-up of Library, Archive and Museum News

Contact us to subscribe to the emailed version.

Tags: newsletters

Let YouTube Transcribe Your Videos for You!

by Jonathan Jacobsen Thursday, November 12, 2015 1:06 PM

Many institutions have videos in their collections, but searching these videos for specific content can be challenging and time-consuming for staff and users alike. You can catalogue the contents of videos so that they are more searchable, but that can take a lot of staff time.

That’s why YouTube’s automated transcription feature is potentially helpful for institutions to have in their repertoire of tools. With a simple click of a button, a timecode synced transcript can be created for videos that you have uploaded to YouTube. While the transcript will definitely have errors, it gives you a great starting point. After editing the transcript can be added to the video’s database record giving your users a way to search the video’s actual contents.

YouTube Transcript

When videos with speech are uploaded to YouTube, closed captions or subtitles are automatically generated. You can see if they are available by looking for the CC button in the bottom right. If the quality of the audio is reasonable, YouTube will also automatically make a text transcript which is accessible under the More hyperlink. This transcription can be copied and pasted into a field in your DB/TextWorks database and corrected while listening along to the video. This text can then be made fully searchable by your WebPublisher PRO or Andornot Discovery Interface software.

Even if you don’t want the videos to be permanently or publicly available on YouTube, you can still take advantage of YouTube’s transcript option. Videos can be uploaded privately, the transcripts generated and then copied and saved elsewhere, before the videos are then removed.

The accuracy of the transcript will depend on several factors, including the quality of the audio, the clarity of the speech and whether the subject matter contains many proper names. Apparently Scottish accents in particular can be problematic, but you can easily review the text first to check the quality.

As always, contact us for assistance to discuss possibilities for adding video transcriptions to your databases and search engines.

Tags: tips | tools | video

SLA Toronto Chapter Annual Holiday Social is December 10, 2015

by Jonathan Jacobsen Monday, November 09, 2015 12:55 PM

Andornot is pleased to once again sponsor the SLA Toronto Chapter Holiday Social on December 10, 2015 in Toronto. This event is held in conjuction with three other Toronto-area groups and is a great chance to mix and mingle in a beautiful building. We hope you will be able to join your colleagues at this event.

What: SLA/OLA-SLC/THLA/FIAA Joint Holiday Social

When: December 10, 2015, 6-8pm (registration starts at 5:30pm)

Where: Arts and Letters Club, 14 Elm Street, Toronto ON

Cost: $25 members | $40 nonmembers | $15 students & unemployed

SLA Toronto Chapter, the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information Alumni Association (FIAA), Toronto Health Libraries Association (THLA) and Ontario Library Association Special Libraries Committee (OLA-SLC) cordially invite you to this year’s Joint Holiday Social at The Arts and Letters Club.  Join friends and colleagues for a fun-filled evening of holiday cheer.

A selection of hors d’oeuvres will be provided.

Details and payment options: http://toronto.sla.org/events/?ee=675

Tags: events

Join Andornot at the SLA Western Canada Chapter's Year End Event on November 24

by Jonathan Jacobsen Monday, November 02, 2015 4:23 PM

Andornot is delighted to be sponsoring the SLA Western Canada Chapter's 2015 Year End Event, on November 24, 2015. 

This year's topic is "Data Discovery and Visualization" with award-winning data journalist Chad Skelton.

There's a wealth of free data available on government open-data portals and Statistics Canada's website, but figuring out how to find the data you're looking for — and in the file format you need — can be a chore. Chad Skelton will show you how to find the data you need, whether it's where the most bike commuters live, what the most spoken languages in B.C. are or how crime rates have changed over time. Chad will also provide a brief overview of some of the free tools available for visualizing data, including Tableau Public and Google Fusion Tables.

Chad Skelton is a consultant and trainer who worked as a data journalist at The Vancouver Sun from 1998-2015 and has been an instructor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University since 2005 where he teaches data visualization. In 2014, Chad won an international Data Journalism Award for his portfolio of work. He has also received the Jack Webster Award, B.C.'s top journalism prize, six times, most recently in 2013 for a data project on political donations and lobbyists in B.C. 

Date: Tuesday, November 24, 2014

Location: Langara College, 100 West 49th Avenue, Vancouver BC (room C509)

Agenda: 

6:00-6:30pm: Check-in, canapes, and no-host cash bar

6:30-8:00pm: Welcome from Chapter President. Keynote presentation by Chad Skelton.

8:00-8:30pm: Closing remarks, door prizes, and refreshments

For further details and to register, please visit http://wcanada.sla.org/2015/10/31/western-canada-chapter-year-end-event-2/

Andornot is sponsoring this event, and will be there in person, as in past years. We hope to see all of you there.

Tags: events

It’s not about you! Designing for your end users.

by Kathy Bryce Wednesday, October 21, 2015 4:54 PM

When we are working with clients to design new search interfaces, we always stress the importance of defining who will be using the system, and then trying to meet the specific needs and expectations of these end users.

It’s Not About You
We often have to remind clients that “It’s not about you!” Archivists and librarians in particular often ask us for search pages with lots of options as they personally are used to constructing complex queries. However the trend with most search interfaces is to keep these simple with a single Google style search box. 

We suggest that you think about other websites your end users search, whether that be a university or public library catalog, or Amazon or other shopping sites.  Nearly all of these now use a discovery style interface that is geared to letting users put words or terms into a search box, and then narrowing their searches down from the search results page through facets or filters.

Like most other search interfaces, we do usually include some Advanced Search options but the website usage statistics we’ve collected for our hosted client sites over the years indicate that most are rarely accessed.  Pre-selecting search limiters removes the possibility of serendipitous discovery of unexpected resources, and the expectation now is that the results will be displayed by relevance so that the closest matches appear first.  We therefore discourage clients from specifying a traditional title sort, as if the user is looking for a known item and searches on words in the title, it will appear at or near the top of a relevance ranked display.

Use Cases and Personas
One of the ways we suggest you try to relate to your end user needs is through the creation of personas or user profiles.   For each of these personas we then suggest you think about factors that might impact their searching behaviour.   First and foremost - what are they looking for and why?  What will they want to do next when they’ve found something of interest?   So for a publicly accessible archives site, you might create personas for the following types of users.

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Carol is looking for pictures of her grandparents and the house where they lived

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Lucy wants a picture of an old farm implement for a school project

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George is compiling a history of a local church.

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John works at City Hall & wants to find maps or plans of an area slated for redevelopment.

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Kevin is interested in a local railway line that runs through the area.

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Daphne is writing her thesis on a local political movement.

Make the process a fun exercise by incorporating graphical representations using images from a stock photo site such as billionphotos.com– search for avatar to find these examples, or contact us to help you. We find images make it easier to visualize how a person might behave, rather than just assigning an abstract name. The usability.govwebsite has an excellent overview article.

Avoid Jargon and Acronyms
You will also need to consider your personas familiarity with the subject area. Again “It’s not about you”, unless you are designing for a very limited audience, jargon and acronyms should be avoided.  Most government websites have guidelines on writing in “plain language” to convey information easily and unambiguously.  However we still see archival sites that include references to the GMD or to the General Material Designation.  Think about walking up to someone in the street and asking them if they understand what this term means! 

Spelling Matters
Spelling is a huge issue.  Too many times we’ve looked through search logs and seen searches that result in zero hits as the search terms were spelt incorrectly.  Think for example about medical terms and how to cater to the public that might be looking for Lou Gehrig’s disease.  Lots of potential to spell this wrong, but worse, you might have indexed relevant items under the medical term of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or the abbreviation ALS or A.L.S.!   Many modern search interfaces now feature Did You Mean spell checking, but maybe you also need to seed the indexes with lists of synonyms or common misspellings of proper names found in the collection. 

It’s all too easy to make assumptions about your end users abilities and their knowledge of web searching techniques. Let us guide you through the process of designing your new search interface based on our knowledge of best practices. We’ll try to tactfully remind you that “it’s not about you”! Contact us to discuss the possibilities today.

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