Goodreads Librarians Group discussion

Don't Trick Us

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message 1: by Charles (new)

Charles (charles_edward) Hi!

I already wrote a message today about how the GR user interface tricks people into entering trivia questions which end up not being connected to a book.

Tonight I used my freshly minted Librarian status to discover another trick.

I requested librarian status because I have encountered so many book pages that list other editions and seem to suggest combining them. For example, Trust Me says "Other Editions (2) combine" and because they are indeed the same book, I thought they should indeed be combined.

The entire reason I requested librarian status is that I got tired of asking others to do this kind of thing.

Well, the joke's on me. Those editions are there because they already have been combined, and the UI's apparent suggestion to combine them is just another trick.

Could the "combine" link be moved somewhere else so that it doesn't appear to be a suggestion for something that doesn't really need to be done?

message 2: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl I suspect most librarians wouldn't want the combine button moved. It is quite convenient where it is. You are new and this is just part of your learning curve as a librarian - now you know those editions sitting right up there have already been combined.

message 3: by Sandra (new)

Sandra | 23832 comments Holds up hand, Seconded!

Don't go thinking about moving something like that. LOL

message 4: by Beth (new)

Beth (bethjustbeth) | 1586 comments I *third!* Heavens, no!

It might help to check out the librarian gives lifesaving (okay, sanity saving) advice for new librarians...I'm not so new, anymore, and still go to it.

message 5: by Scott (new)

Scott | 18598 comments I've always thought the way it was displayed was misleading as well.

message 6: by Eva Marie (new)

Eva Marie (evamarie3578) | 755 comments I agree, I wouldn't want it moved either. There are a number of things that I had to get used to as a librarian and I'm sure I'll come across more as I do more.
Also, there are some things that, if it were up to me, would be done differently but in the end that's a personal opinion and what may be easier to me may not be easier for the general librarian population.
You'll get used to it and when you do you'll find something else to get used to! ;-)

message 7: by Charles (new)

Charles (charles_edward) I'm simply pointing out that the UI currently invites normal users to do something they cannot do; and once you've attained librarian status, it invites you to do something you probably do not need to do.

Hopefully, GR will choose to follow good design principles, including the principle of least surprise, without putting the matter to a vote.

message 8: by Vicky (new)

Vicky (librovert) | 2459 comments Charles wrote: "I'm simply pointing out that the UI currently invites normal users to do something they cannot do; and once you've attained librarian status, it invites you to do something you probably do not need..."

Perhaps an easier suggestion would be to hide the "combine" link from anyone who is not a librarian so normal users aren't bothered by it.

message 9: by Nyssa (new)

Nyssa | 167 comments Vicky wrote: "Charles wrote: "I'm simply pointing out that the UI currently invites normal users to do something they cannot do; and once you've attained librarian status, it invites you to do something you prob..."

Now that is a good suggestion!

message 10: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (narcisse) | 179 comments Perhaps a simpler solution than moving the link would be to clarify the link by changing it to say "combine page" rather than "combine".

message 11: by Random (last edited Jun 27, 2011 04:23PM) (new)

Random (rand0m1s) | 56 comments I wouldn't like having those links hidden from non librarians. They are how I discovered you could do things like combine editions, edit book details and update book covers. Without those, I would never have discovered that it was possible to do those things and that there was such a thing as librarians. I certainly would never have become a librarian myself.

message 12: by Eva Marie (new)

Eva Marie (evamarie3578) | 755 comments I agree with Random. GR hasn't had any issues with this before now that I've heard about so I think this is just something that's bothering one (a few) people.
I can think of a few things I'd like changed also but that doesn't mean those things would be better for the site as a whole. They'd be better for me but that means nothing in the scheme of things here.
Most of the librarians seem to be just fine with this the way it is.
I'd suggest getting used to it and moving on to bigger problems personally.

message 13: by Eva Marie (last edited Jun 28, 2011 08:21AM) (new)

Eva Marie (evamarie3578) | 755 comments Charles, you do realize that it's not exactly as you've stated above? It doesn't show "Other Editions (2) combine". It shows: "Other Editions (2) ----- big space here ----------- combine".
Quite a difference. Most people assume correctly that this button is there for the purpose of getting to the combine page. Not that those editions need combining. The phrase 'other editions' - with the editions shown there - alone leads one to assume that they've already been combined.
If the word 'combine' were directly after the rest I might agree but it's a good distance from it.
It makes it easier, if only a little, to get to the combine page to alter another edition if one is looking at them there.
This is something that's simply your opinion and I think most would agree that it wouldn't better the site any for the masses.
Also, as for non-librarians, it's a moot point right? They click and get nothing. Lesson learned.
The what seems to be few librarians who click to do what you thought, find out otherwise and lesson learned. Problem - should be - solved.

message 14: by Beth (new)

Beth (bethjustbeth) | 1586 comments Before I was a librarian, I clicked on everything, to see what happened (yeah, I'm one of those)...when I became a librarian, I clicked on NOTHING until I'd checked with the librarian's manual on what would happen, if it should happen, and if it could be undone, once I did it.

If I can't find the answer there, I post over here, somewhere. The site isn't really meant to be completely intuitive...hence, the manual.

message 15: by Coqueline (last edited Jun 28, 2011 12:26PM) (new)

Coqueline | 33 comments The link is in good place as it is now. If it's moved somewhere else, some people might not notice the 'Other editions' list before they click it, and will create more confusion.

It is probably useless for non-librarians, so the better option for non-librarians is by either hiding it or by deactivating it (leave the text, make in unclickable).

If we want to make it less confusing, maybe we GR can make it into a button instead, and add a layer of hover text. If you mouse over it, explanation of what it does appears, e.g. "Click to combine more editions". Different info can appear when non-librarian mouse-over it, i.e. "You have to be a librarian to use this feature."

But otherwise, it's simple enough to understand and fine as it is.

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