SLA Europe had an excellent turnout for their most recent evening event.
panel of three speakers (professor Dave Nicholas of UCL, Kathy Jacobs of Pinsent
Masons and Roger James of the
Some of the interesting points raised:
- We are all the Google generation - UCL has undertaken extensive research which demonstrates that older people are actually better at using Google than the young
- Digital transition means a loss of contact with our audience/user community, the decoupling of the information intermediary and the end-user. But how significant is this? Have we ever really known how people behave or use information?
- People want fast, direct and pragmatic access to information - so sell the abstracts and give away the PDFs
- Users want immersive social information environments - they are used to Facebook/Amazon type interfaces which recognise them and prompt them to look at related topics
- We need to match the usability of Google when we present information - clean design, white space, no clutter, speed of access, no need for training. Multiple user interfaces to different content sets are not a good idea
- Information literacy and search skills do need to be introduced and enforced - poor searches which yield incomplete, out of date or inaccurate information are real business risks
- In a corporate environment, consider whether it is easier to purchase a book via Amazon or via the information department? In most cases it is easier (and quicker) to buy from Amazon
- And/or Google? Don’t take on Google because you’ll lose. Accept that it will be ‘and’ Google
- Creation or curation? Are we storing old stuff or creating new?
Infield chaired the event and led a lively Q&A session which required
energetic transfers of the microphone around the room.
Director of Consultancy
PS: Roger James has uploaded his slides onto LinkedIn (you will need a LinkedIn account to view them).