Cooperative Design
Part 1: Finding a Common Language in the Gale Product Suite

| By Gabe & the User Experience Team | Since 1954, Gale’s mission has been to empower learners and serve libraries with the tools their patrons need. In that time, our suite of products has expanded to meet the evolving needs of the research and education market. We now manage over 160 digital products and … Read more

Assessing the User Experience on Gale Products

|By Heather Hedden | As senior vocabulary editor, I’ve worked on editing the Gale Subject thesaurus since we’ve had a web interface for our databases in the late 1990s, and there have been so many changes since then. The web user interface of Gale database products is key to making the research databases usable and … Read more

Global Issues In Context Product Update

Updated May 24, 2016

Original Posting March 31, 2016

Global Issues In Context has been updated to reflect the standard user interface found in all the other Gale In Context products. Customers will be migrated to the new version of the product August 5, 2016.

During the continued soft launch – running through the month of July – here’s what you’ll find:

  • Spotlight stories will track current events.
  • New and updated portals will be called-out (flagged) so they are easy to find.
  • Google integration tools like Google sign-in, download to Google Drive, and Classroom Share capabilities.
  • A mobile optimized interface for ease of use on any device.
  • Additional features familiar to users such as, Highlights and Notes and additional language translation options.

Read more

Global Issues In Context Product Update 3/31/2016

Updated May 24, 2016

Original Posting March 31, 2016

Global Issues In Context has been updated to reflect the standard user interface found in all the other Gale In Context products. Customers will be migrated to the new version of the product August 5, 2016.

During the continued soft launch – running through the month of July – here’s what you’ll find:

  • Spotlight stories will track current events.
  • New and updated portals will be called-out (flagged) so they are easy to find.
  • Google integration tools like Google sign-in, download to Google Drive, and Classroom Share capabilities.
  • A mobile optimized interface for ease of use on any device.
  • Additional features familiar to users such as, Highlights and Notes and additional language translation options.

Read more

Global Issues In Context Product Update 3/31/2016

Updated May 24, 2016

Original Posting March 31, 2016

Global Issues In Context has been updated to reflect the standard user interface found in all the other Gale In Context products. Customers will be migrated to the new version of the product August 5, 2016.

During the continued soft launch – running through the month of July – here’s what you’ll find:

  • Spotlight stories will track current events.
  • New and updated portals will be called-out (flagged) so they are easy to find.
  • Google integration tools like Google sign-in, download to Google Drive, and Classroom Share capabilities.
  • A mobile optimized interface for ease of use on any device.
  • Additional features familiar to users such as, Highlights and Notes and additional language translation options.

Read more

Evanston Public Library Enhances Patrons’ Experience with Gale’s Vast Online Resources

GVRL eBook Success Story

Posted on November 30, 2015

Lesley Williams is Head of Adult Services at the Evanston Public Library (EPL) in Evanston, Illinois. In the 18 years that she Evanston Public Libraryhas worked there, the library has continually subscribed to products from Gale. Today, as a primary “go to” resource for the library’s broad range of patrons, GVRL eBooks are instrumental in helping EPL fulfill its mission. That mission is to be the heart of the community, promoting the development of independent, self-confident, and literate citizens by providing open access to cultural, intellectual, technological, and informational resources. “GVRL is the only online reference book service that we’ve ever had,” says Lesley.

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21 Voices, Predictive Findability, and What Have Your Students Taught You Lately

By Daniel Marano

At Gale and Cengage Learning, we conduct hundreds of user studies in any given year. In each study, we talk to and observe dozens of users as we iteratively design or modify our resources and tools. We have been doing and learning from this user-centered design approach for years now, and have a centralized user experience department that conducts this research for the entire organization.

What this traditional form of user-centered design leaves out, however, are certain types of longitudinal data, and the evolving habits and technologies that a student moves through over time. That’s why last year we launched a novel new research study called 21 Voices.

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Librarians Overcome Distance and Tradition with GVRL eBooks

GVRL eBook Success Story

Terry Beck, the Information Services Manager for Sno-Isle Libraries north of Seattle, knows firsthand how to deal with logistical nightmares. Beck is responsible for serving approximately 697,000 people in two counties across 21 community libraries. To complicate matters further, Beck lacks a central or main library location from which to work and was quickly running out of room for reference materials.

“We don’t have one great big place,” Beck bemoaned. “We knew we needed to grow our reference collection but we had no room for additional print materials.”

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Responsive Design (and more) Coming to Gale Products

Have you ever muttered disparagingly about a website or app that doesn’t look or behave the way you expect it to?  Does it frustrate you when icons don’t make sense to you, or when you can’t find navigation aids?

We hear you.  And that’s why we’ve initiated a whole range of improvements that make a huge difference in user experience in GVRL, InfoTrac, and In Context* resources, including the PowerSearch platform as well as Genealogy Connect, Twayne’s Authors Online and Scribner Writers Online.  The enhancements are coming April 2nd.

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The Research Habits of Public Library Users:
Are You Meeting Their Needs?

Consumer behavior studies, industry stats and eBook usage reports reveal what people want from their libraries, how and what they’re researching, and what libraries are doing to meet the growing (yes, growing!) demand for credible, cross-searchable nonfiction eBook content.

  • More than half of today’s public library users say they visit the library to research topics of interest1—and what’s of interest is often history, self-help, cooking, health and fitness, business and careers, hobbies, general reference, how-to and DIY projects.2
  • In fact, “to do research and use reference materials” is second only to quality time with grandkids (aw!) as a reason for increased library time—ranking higher than borrowing books and using computers.3

Other than databases, nonfiction eBooks are a primary resource libraries use to meet the needs of these researchers. Today, 95% of libraries offer eBooks, 26% of which are nonfiction.4

We know that research matters to today’s public library users, and we know that libraries are expert in selecting the content they need—so the reports and studies should be all good, right? Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

Read more