Put down that mouse and keyboard! Twenty-first century, Web-based libray management services now means finding a whole new way to interact with library data and customers. As the team at OCLC working on Web-scale Management Services has been hammering out new functional requirements, we’ve had a lot of leeway in breaking new ground. But we’ve really been looking for a way to take the service beyond the obvious trends of electronic content management and mobile interfaces. That’s when one of our developers hooked up his XBox Kinect sensor to our development environment and the ideas started flying faster than we could implement them.
I recently asked one of the developers how they got started. “The easiest thing for us to do was introduce ‘gesture-based’ searching in the staff interface,” said Kannan Seshadri, Release Manager for the product. Usability testers had a blast finding titles on peace, prayer, and The Fonz. Rock, paper, and scissors also became popular search terms, but nothing surpassed the number of searches for “birds” in WorldCat that day.
We’ve identified a lot of green pasture in the development of these new web-based services, but nothing has been as exciting as defining a whole new way to interact with library data. Be sure to send your ideas and gestures to firstname.lastname@example.org.