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New VCU Libraries search improves user experience

December 7, 2017

Black and white image of an old man using a spyglass in search of something. APA citation style: (ca. 1902) [Old man looking through spyglass]. , ca. 1902. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,
Library of Congress

VCU Libraries debuts a new, streamlined search interface at the start of the spring semester. This change will enhance browsing security. The libraries systems team also made cosmetic and functional improvements with the rollout of the new interface.

Users’ feedback is essential to the next steps in the iterative process.

Testing with students revealed the new interface is more intuitive. Functions and options are more clearly evident and streamlined. Improvements include:

  • Advanced Search options are easier to find and use and are more flexible.
  • Citation tools let you select and copy different citation styles from the results page or within a resource.
  • The ability to include or exclude resource types from the results screen streamlines the previous process, which required clicking on a hard-to-find icon and going to a new screen.
  • My account dashboard display is more mobile-friendly.

You may notice subtle differences in typography, colors and placement of information. Many of these changes enhance usability on mobile devices. Other changes you might notice include:  

  • Now, all the facets for narrowing search results reside on the right, rather than on the left side of the search results page. The headline is “Filter My Results.”
  • “My Account” is now called “My Library Account” and what was the “eShelf” is now “My Favorites.”
  • The icon-based system allows you to “pin” (save) references, cite or send the item via email with ease.
  • Commonly used filters can be saved for multiple searches.

As with the previous iteration of VCU Libraries search, signing in to the system using your VCU eID will give you the most useful features. Signing in saves your searches and materials. 

Explore the new search functions and share your ideas and feedback.

[Image Description: Illustration of searching. A black-and-white photography of a harbor with a bearded old man looking through spyglass, ca. 1902. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,]


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