Over the past few months we’ve been working on an update to the ArchiveGrid interface.
Along with some bug fixes and cosmetic changes, the new interface has two major new features: A “result overview” display that summarizes important access points in a search result, and an “adaptive” (sometimes also called “responsive”) layout to improve how the system works on tablets and smartphones.
You can try a preview version of the new interface now. We’re testing and updating it still, but expect to replace the current interface with the new one in the next month or two.
The Result Overview
Here’s an example of the Result Overview for a search. The search began by looking for collections that match golden gate bridge photographs. With 377 matching collections it would take a while to scroll through each brief record, but the Result Overview helps identify some key access points at a glance:
And as access points are selected, the search result is narrowed. This can be a quick and effective way to reduce a large result to something that can be more easily checked for a deeper dive into the collection descriptions. The Result List and Overview are different views of the same result: selecting their tabs makes it easy to switch from one to the other.
The Adaptive Display
Though we aren’t yet seeing very much ArchiveGrid use by people with smartphones and tablet devices, we want to ensure that all users have an experience in ArchiveGrid that is best suited to the capabilities of their browser. While still a work in progress, the new interface adapts its layout and features based on the device that has connected. We’ve been testing this on a range of computers: an iPhone, a Nexus 7 tablet, a “One Laptop per Child” computer, a variety of notebook and desktop computers, and a large flat screen display connected to a Chromebox.
As with everything else about ArchiveGrid, we’d love to hear your comments and suggested improvements to this new version of the user interface.