We recently updated the ArchiveGrid interface, applying the popular Bootstrap framework to make the system more responsive on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices, and to take advantage of Bootstrap’s built-in features for handling common layout and design problems.
While the basic features of ArchiveGrid did not change in this update, this is more than a fresh coat of paint. We’ve long recognized that, for many visitors to ArchiveGrid, their first experience of the system is on a page other than the system’s official “home page.” About 76% of visitors arrive in ArchiveGrid, typically from a link in a Google, Bing, or Yahoo search result, on a page describing a single collection.
In the previous ArchiveGrid design, this page was fairly static. Other than a search box to continue searching and a link to contact information for the archive, there wasn’t really much you could do from here:
In the redesign, we’ve made more access points available, added a map to help with finding your way to the archive, and changed the layout to move more information “above the fold”:
We’ll be watching ArchiveGrid analytics closely to see how these changes affect the use and utility of the system. If we’re making incremental progress, we could see a reduction in the “bounce rate” (visitors who arrive and leave without doing anything else).