NFAIS workshop – Improving the User Search Experience

The National Federation of Advanced Information Services (NFAIS™) is organizing a one-day meeting – Improving the User Search Experience Part I:  Leveraging Technology, to be held on May 14, 2010 at the Lyrasis Office in Philadelphia, PA, from 9:00am to 5:00pm.  Virtual attendance is optional for those unable to travel to Philadelphia.

While content itself continues to form the foundation of modern information solutions, the real differentiator is becoming the broader “user experience[1].”  Today’s information seekers expect a seamless, multi-sensory, interactive – and enjoyable – search experience that is their benchmark for an acceptable information retrieval service.  Their product loyalty and satisfaction are “driven by a different set of values that goes beyond content and extends to the experience of using that content.[2]” Content providers and librarians need to be acutely aware of the overall “experience” that their products and services provide.The program will open with the results of a study performed at the University of Minnesota to determine how information resources can be made more visible, particularly within the user workflow. It will discuss key trends related to information discovery and how those trends are reflected in user information seeking behavior.  This will be followed by a look at the importance of the user interface in making a first “good impression.”  It will provide an overview of the challenges involved in “getting it right” so that it clearly communicates with the people that use it.  The session will also take a look at the requirements of interfaces for mobile devices and the interface challenges that are unique to the academic library environment. In closing it will highlight a state-of-the-art, highly interactive interface for researchers who need to manipulate datasets. The afternoon will focus on the pros, cons, and future developments of three major search technologies – semantic search, federated search and discovery services, and will close with a glimpse at new and emerging technologies that are beginning to shape user expectations with regards to the overall search experience: social search, on-the-fly translations of search results, and the ability to offer personalized search results.

The preliminary program, registration form, directions to the meeting location, list of nearby hotels, and general information on Philadelphia is available at:

On-site Attendance: on or before April 16, 2010, NFAIS members pay $345 and non-members pay $395 (registration fee includes continental breakfast, a box lunch two refreshment breaks).  After April 16, 2010, NFAIS members pay $395 and non-members pay $445.

Virtual Attendance: on or before April 16, 2010, NFAIS members pay $315 and non-members pay $365. After April 16, 2010, NFAIS members pay $365 and non-members pay $415.

Unlimited Virtual attendance (3 or more registrations) is $995 for NFAIS member organizations and $1,195 for non-member organizations.

For more information contact:  Jill O’Neill, NFAIS Director, Communication and Planning, 215-893-1561 (phone); 215-893-1564 (fax); mailto: or go to

NFAIS:  Supporting the Global Information Community