I think text above or before the search box is bound to be ignored. But if you change the wording of the search *button*, you might get people to notice it more.
[ search box ] [ button: locate databases ]
. . . or you know, something better worded than that. And then, as Joe suggested, some note in the results explaining that this is not what you think it is.
You might do something similar for your journal list, since that's another place where users think they are searching inside the container (i.e., for articles) instead of for containers themselves (i.e., the names of journals).
And putting those with an actual search box for articles on the same page (search for articles, search for journals, search for databases) would clarify the purpose even more.
Library Web Services Manager
California State University
From: Code for Libraries [[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Sarah Weeks [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Friday, July 30, 2010 5:22 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [CODE4LIB] usability question: searching for a database (not in a database)
Long time lurker, first time poster.
I have a little usability question I was hoping someone could give me advice
I'm updating the databases page on our website and we'd like to add a search
box that would search certain fields we have set up for our databases
(title, vendor, etc...) so that even if someone doesn't remember the first
word in the title, they can quickly find the database they're looking
through without having to scroll through the whole A-Z list.
My question is: if we add a search box to our main database page, how can we
make it clear that it's for searching FOR a database and not IN a database?
Some of the choices we've considered are:
Seach for a database:
Search this list:
Don't remember the name of the database? Search here:
I'm not feeling convinced by any of them. I'm afraid when people see a
search box they're not going to bother reading the text but will just assume
it's a federated search tool.
Sarah Beth Weeks
Interim Head Librarian of Technical Services and Systems
St Olaf College Rolvaag Memorial Library
1510 St. Olaf Avenue
Northfield, MN 55057