Tuesday, September 25, 2007

New Look to PictureAustralia

The new Picture Australia site is up and running!
Here is a run down on key changes to the new look and feel.
Home Page
The key objectives for the redesigned home page were to:
*Focus on the most important function of the site, the search box, by increasing its size and placing it centrally.
*Juxtapose historical images from Participating agencies with contemporary images from the Flickr groups. All these images dynamically refresh with every search displaying the wealth of visual material to be penetrated.
*Place commonly used functions in the top navigational toolbar and more general information in the bottom banner
*Minimise text in line with a site focused on pictorial material
*Improving the display of search results
The iconic vibrant ochre orange and signature logo of the original site have been left in tact to continue to transmit their significant references about the Australian consciousness.
Displaying Search Results
Researchers will be pleased to discover that their search results are now relevance ranked, making it much quicker and easier to sort through records. Regular researchers will note the cleanliness of the display of records and the option to change the number of records displayed on the advanced search page from 12 - 60 images at a time. Easier navigation is aided by the introduction of icons to indicate functions such as 'Add to Favourites', "Download Favourite Records" and 'Request a Copy'.
Advanced Searching
The simpler language on the redesigned Advanced Search page makes it easier for users to search the database. Boolean terms and search limits are now described in user friendly terms similar to Google's Advanced Search. A search tab in the top navigation banner provides a way to combine a simple search with an agency drop down menu to facilitate quick searches of individual collections.
A new 'research tips' page provides information for genealogists on family history research. Teachers and students will also find there activities that build research and observation skills. University students can now develop illustration lists using Picture Australia through the bibliographic software Endnote X.
Information about contributing to Picture Australia, for both organisations and individuals is easy to find from the top navigational toolbar.

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