Saturday, August 18, 2012

The new TRIP - Find Evidence Fast

We're getting fairly close to the launch of the new TRIP, hopefully within the next 4 weeks - depending on testing.  We are very busy behind the scenes and there is even more work to come.  We've just reviewed the 7th iteration of design.  Each time we get a set of designs we need to review them and comment.  I believe version 8 will be the version we approve.  Once they have been 'signed-off' we'll be busy plugging the new and old functionality into the design and then on to proper testing!

The work on the new site started last year and included a large review of our users (click here for the main results).  Our users have been great since then feeding back on various questions I've had.  One user (via our Facebook page) even helped formulate a - sort of - tagline of 'find evidence fast', a very simple yet powerful explanation of what TRIP does.  And I cannot forget the wonderful donations we received that have helped make this all happen! 

In conjunction with user input has been a significant amount of work on my part exploring the literature on information retrieval and search.  So, what can we expect?  In no particular order (and there are more as those listed below):

  • Redesign.  We've used a great designer who's worked wonders. The old site was looking old and had suffered from new design/features simply being bolted on.  While it's still a search engine it has been completely redesigned - even the logo will change.  IT IS LOVELY.  I appreciate some people will be put off as it's a huge change, but people will get used to it and love it.
  • PICO search.  As well as the 'usual' search we have introduced a PICO search to help users formulate focused searches. 
  • Clear demarcation of content types.  While TRIP is principally about evidence, we also have videos, images etc in our index.  We'll be making this more explicit and easier to use.
  • Filter move.  Currently the filter by evidence type is on the left-hand side, we're moving it to the right.  The most important aspect of TRIP are the results, so they should be in the most prominent position!
  • Improved filtering - allowing easier filtering by clinical area, year and even the ability to restrict the results to a single publisher.
  • Cited.  We're starting to automatically explore citations.  If you find an article you like, we'll link to other articles in TRIP that have cited it (typically a systematic review or guideline).  This is new and experimental - so expect mixed results!
  • Important papers.  For any search on TRIP we'll explore the citations found in the results and see which articles appear most frequently - surely a sign of importance to the search terms.
  • Login.  While not compulsory we're going to encourage people to login.  This serves numerous functions, some obvious now and others for the future.  But, immediately, when you search we'll also include previous papers you've viewed - as we know people often revisit the same papers, this makes it much easier. 
  • Starred.  Like and article or think it's interesting - well star it and we'll save it for you in your timeline....
  • Timeline.  This is where we record your activity on TRIP: searches, articles viewed, articles starred, any new content that we think is of interest to you (based on your recorded keywords of interest).  There's a twist in the timeline that will make it special.  The Timeline might lead to much bigger things.
TRIP was good before, it will now be better and I think we're getting close to greatness.


Thursday, August 09, 2012

New version of TRIP

We've been working very hard on the next version of TRIP and we're getting there!  There are two main components of work, functionality and design.  These are performed by separate people (a techie and a designer) and eventually brought together by the techie.  We're hoping to go live in the next 4-6 weeks.

We had a first round of designs about 2-3 weeks ago and had the latest version yesterday.  So, it was a hectic day going over them and giving feedback to the designer.  But the design is close to being signed-off.  It's actually a complete overhaul of the site, including a new logo.  It will look and behave radically differently, it's a significant step forward for TRIP.

See below a small sneak preview of a component of the results page (click on image to increase the size).  Some hidden for tease value and some hidden as they need altering. I hope you enjoy it :-)