A chat with Ryan Eby, also an Edward Tufte fan, elicited this line about another reason we continue to struggle with the design of our catalogs:
data isn’t usable by itself
if it was then the OPAC would just be marc displays
And yesterday I was speaking with Corey Seeman about how to measure and use “popularity” information about catalog items. It got me thinking about Flickr’s interestingness metric, which seems to combine the number of times a photo has been “favorited,” viewed, and commented. In a related fashion, I’ve been looking at ways to track the terms people use to find catalog items and use those to help improve search results. A basic form of this is in the OPAC prototype I demonstrated yesterday.
And all of this has me looking forward to Aaron Krowne’s Quality Metrics presentation at code4lib.