As part of our Summon implementation we will be changing link resolver from WebBridge to 360 Link. 360 Link is another Serials Solutions product and uses the same knowledge base as Summon so we hope that it will give better integration with Summon than WebBridge would.

What does a link resolver actually do? The primary function of a link resolver is to provide a quick and easy way to link a user from a citation to an ‘appropriate copy’ of the article they want to read. ‘Appropriate copy’ in this instance basically means a copy that the user will be able to access for free. For City University staff and students this means articles published in e-journals that City University Library subscribes to.

We have been using WebBridge as our link resolver for nearly 7 years so changing to 360 Link gives us a chance to think about the functionality and branding of our link resolver and decide if we want to make any changes. Out-of-the-box, 360 Link is fully functional and it already has the City University branding applied.

360 link

This looks ok but we felt we could improve 360 Link with a few simple changes. The screen is very busy. 99.9%* of the time the only thing a user wants to do when they land on a link resolver page is get to a copy of the article they want to read. The user should not have to think about how to do this. In the screenshot above, there are no less than 17 different links the user could click on (not including links in the header and footer), only 4 of which will take them to the article. The whole of the top half of the screen is taken up with citation information.

Below is a screenshot of 360 Link now. The key changes we made were:

  • The citation information now displays in a brief format so it doesn’t take up so much of the screen.
  • Databases are de-duplicated so that instead of seeing multiple links to, for example, different Ebsco databases only one link to an Ebsco database will display.
  • Content links have been re-designed and re-ordered. The ‘Article’ link is now a prominent red button, designed to draw the eye. All the links ‘article’, ‘journal’ and ‘database’ still work but it is visually clearer that the most important link is the Article one.
  • Extra links have been removed to make the page less busy and we have tried to use natural language where possible.
  • We have turned on 1-click linking which means when you click on a 360 Link (in Summon, Google Scholar or any other database) you go straight to the article instead of to the 360 Link page, so linking to full text is even easier. 1-click linking also gives the option to go to the 360 Link page in case the article link fails.

360 Link new style

We’ll be making the move from WebBridge to 360 Link over the next few weeks and hope it will give a better user experience.

* Made up statistic alert