It is obviously a bit early to jump to any large conclusions and to make any prophecies–a lot of people will likely be spending some of their time in the next while comparing it to their own catalogue experiences–but at first glance? Yes.
This is much closer to where we all want and need to be with our ILS. NCSU’s Endeca layer is much more intuitive to use than any other catalogue I have ever seen in any library (not surprising since it replicates the design of familiar e-com sites like Abebooks, which don’t require an MLIS and a guide dog to be able to interpret how to use it).
In terms of first impressions, the first search I did brought back immediate results that matched my search. I guess that’s good (since this is often not the first impression with other interfaces).
The options for what to do next were clear to me and with my interest in similar items o the one I retrieved, I quickly found my way back and around the other records and related resources, as well as into the browsing of the items next to my book on the shelf.
I don’t want to sound like a gushing school girl because I really need to give the catalogue more of a workout. But after a short test drive of the product, it certainly warrants a blog post.
NCSU has clearly taken one of the more tangible big steps forward in online catalogue development and yes, the gauntlet has been dropped at the feet of our more traditional ILS friends.