Use radio buttons instead of a parts dropdown menu for holds

8

Because patrons often don’t understand or don’t see the parts dropdown menu when placing a hold, it would be nice to show radio buttons instead of a dropdown when the number of parts is small. Also, the layout and language make a big difference in how intuitive this screen is—compare Noble’s PAC to CWMARS for a good example.

Category

Status: 
Completed development

Comments

Re: Use radio buttons instead of a parts dropdown menu for holds

Just making the parts selection area more obvious and changing the language might make this easier as well.

Re: Use radio buttons instead of a parts dropdown menu for holds

Moderator

I agree - I was trying to see what CWMARS looks like but realized I can't see that screen without an account. The "parts" problem is complicated by having two factors in play. First the behind the scenes cataloging, which determines how different libraries group their multipart items for circulation (and the fact that they often all do it completely differently). Second, is what we're talking about here, which is how the user interface can view and manipulate those complex groupings for transactions.

Certainly, it would be nice for parts to be nested well enough that a patron could check off the parts they want (perhaps with radio buttons, as you suggest) and then the system would be smart enough to know that if they selected discs 1 and 2, that the following part designations would be valid for holds: 1, 2, 1-2, 1-3, whole set

Kathy, is this a topic that would be worth having a focus group session for? I think it would be good to have some catalogers and some ref people puzzle through what the ideal behavior would be from start to finish, and see how that compares to any development that's already in the pipeline.

 

Jeff 

Re: Use radio buttons instead of a parts dropdown menu for holds

The inteligent behavior that Jeff describes would be excellent! That said, even if the behavior remains the same, improving the interface would be very welcome!

Re: Use radio buttons instead of a parts dropdown menu for holds

Moderator

Kathy (if you're listening in) - Wasn't there some development in the works from Thomas at MVLC regarding nesting of parts? I've forgotten what the status of that was. Is it still out there somewhere? And does it apply to this? If the parts nesting could be accomplished, then I can see something like checkboxes or radio buttons making it much more intuituve for patrons (and staff) to handle these types of holds.

 

Jeff

Re: Use radio buttons instead of a parts dropdown menu for holds

Moderator

Hi Jeff,

Of course - I'm always listening in!

Yes, Thomas has some very good ideas for improving parts that is similar to what you described above. However, it isn't something that he's actively developing nor, as far as I know, is it on his list of priorities for upcoming development. If MassLNC wants to see improvements in the way Evergreen handles parts, I would recommend that we prioritize it in our own development process. 

I also agree that this could be a good topic for a focus group discussion. I don't think there has been much work related to parts since we first sponsored the development more than two years ago. However, I've heard ideas for improvement, not only from the MassLNC consortia, but from other sites as well, so I think additional improvements would be welcomed by the community. 

 

 

Re: Use radio buttons instead of a parts dropdown menu for holds

Moderator

Nesting, radio buttons, anything to make choosing parts better.

What would be helpful in the interim would be to require the patron to make a choice, if there are any parts on the bib, rather than just have the first part as a default.  (And the parts are listed alphabetically - why does EG alphabetize where I don't want them to, and doesn't where I do want it?)

An example: A DVD set has 4 discs.  My library and others circ all 4 together, other libraries do sets of disc 1-2 & 3-4, and one library separates them into 4 single-disc parts.  On the hold screen, the parts box defaults to Disc 1.  So, there are 17 holds on the single copy of Disc 1, and my copy of all 4 discs is sitting on the shelf.  In this case, the patron probably doesn't even realize that he "selected" Disc 1 (by default).

I would like to EG to require them to make a choice when there are all parts, or a mix of parts/no parts on the bib.  And to top it off, it would be great if next to the parts it said how many possible copies there are, so patrons can make an informed choice.

 

Vickie Turcotte

Chelmsford PL

MVLC

Re: Use radio buttons instead of a parts dropdown menu for holds

Moderator

Agreed - Actually at this point we are in the process of trying to "unpart" our DVD series as much as possible because of the problems with this. It's quite a bit better than it was in our old system, but we've still had a lot of patrons placing "hopeless" holds because EG asks them to choose Part 1, Part 2, Discs 3-4, or what have you, or "Complete Set". And of course many patrons choose that last option, because they want the whole season, not realizing that if our copies are split into parts, they've placed a hold that will be filled by any other library's copies but our own. So we're actually repackaging as many of our DVD series as possible into one box per barcode to minimize that problem. I think at least the idea of EG understanding the nesting of parts would go a long way to managing these, but I can imagine it's quite complicated to make that happen. And complicated seems to usually equal money.

Jeff

Re: Use radio buttons instead of a parts dropdown menu for holds

Moderator

I'm placing this idea in "under development." I've worked on some code to display parts selection as radio buttons and to also require that patrons explicitly select a part when using the radios button display. The dropdown menu option will work as it currently does, but I borrowed from styling from NOBLE to make the selector stand out more.

More details at https://bugs.launchpad.net/evergreen/+bug/1422802.

I'll move it under completed projects once the code is merged into core Evergreen.

Re: Use radio buttons instead of a parts dropdown menu for holds

Moderator

I'm placing this idea in "under development." I've worked on some code to display parts selection as radio buttons and to also require that patrons explicitly select a part when using the radios button display. The dropdown menu option will work as it currently does, but I borrowed from styling from NOBLE to make the selector stand out more.

More details at https://bugs.launchpad.net/evergreen/+bug/1422802.

I'll move it under completed projects once the code is merged into core Evergreen.

Re: Use radio buttons instead of a parts dropdown menu for holds

Moderator

This feature is available in Evergreen 2.10