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Designing the gateway interface: Tips and techniques from Carnegie Mellon's experience

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Title: Designing the gateway interface: Tips and techniques from Carnegie Mellon's experience
Author(s): Troll, Denise A.
Subject(s): User interface design Library systems
Abstract: What, then, is a "gateway" interface? In the domain of information retrieval, a gateway interface essentially provides access to one or more databases in addition to the online public access catalog (OPAC). The definition may be finessed from a narrow or broad perspective. From the narrow perspective, a gateway provides access to multiple databases that are managed by one group or organization. Though the databases may be created from local or commercially licensed data and reside on the same or different retrieval servers using the same or different retrieval software, there is only one information store, that is, one information store "owner," designer, controller, negotiator. From the broad perspective, a gateway provides access to multiple databases that are managed by multiple groups or organizations. Some databases may be locally loaded and managed; others are available over the network from other sites and managers. In this model, there are multiple information stores. The design implications and ontological ramifications of a gateway interface depend on which definition of gateway is invoked. For example, if all of the databases are locally loaded and maintained using the same database-building and retrieval software, then search syntax and retrieval protocols are easily specified and controlled. However, if databases are loaded and maintained at different sites using different software, then search syntax and retrieval protocols require rigorous standards and experimentation to achieve interoperability. In both scenarios, authentication and protection may be necessary to meet database licensing agreements. Search syntax, retrieval protocols, and authentication and protection affect user interface design and functionality. This paper examines five lessons in interface design learned by Carnegie Mellon University Libraries in building Library Information System II (LIS): 1. Be prepared: User interface design is difficult and time-consuming. 2. Be informed: Distributed retrieval has implications for user interface design. 3. Be smart: User interface design specifications save time and aggravation. 4. Be flexible: User interfaces need to be tested and revised. 5. Beware: Politics and egos can disrupt user interface design.
Issue Date: 1994
Publisher: Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Citation Info: Troll, D.A. (1994) Designing the gateway interface: tips and techniques from Carnegie Mellon's experience. In Ann P. Bishop (ed) Emerging Communities: Integrating Networked Information into Library Services [Papers presented the 1993 Clinic on Library Applications of Data Processing, April 4-6, 1993]: 101-119.
Series/Report: Emerging communities : integrating networked information into library services [papers presented the 1993 Clinic on Library Applications of Data Processing, April 4-6, 1993]
Genre: Conference Paper / Presentation
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/380
ISBN: 0-87845-094-7
ISSN: 0069-4789
Publication Status: published or submitted for publication
Date Available in IDEALS: 2007-03-18
 

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