Skip to main content

New JLSS website

You turn your back for 5 minutes...

Last week, the Law Society of Scotland launched a redesigned website for the Journal of the Law Society of Scotland, with minimal (if any) fanfare. Well, there may well have been a fanfare, but as I'm not a solicitor and so therefore not on their emailing list, I only found out when I went to check up on their news area last week. It doesn't even list it as something of note in their own News area...no press releases to The Firm Magazine, nor Scottish Legal News...is this some sort of terrible secret, not to be publicised to the world at large?

This is how it used to look (Feb 2008 image from Internet Archive):












This is how it looks now:













It is, however, a bit of a good news / bad news situation.

So we'll start cheerfully with The Good News:

It's pretty, it's shiny, and looks much more sleek and modern.

The JLSS now has blogs, yay! There are links from the homepage to both the Editor's blog, and the Law Society's blog too.

http://www.journalonline.co.uk/Blogs/

The Editor's blog launched on the 3rd October, which makes me think that that is possibly when the website was relaunched. Although there's no mention of the shiny new website in any of the three posts so far.

There's now an RSS feed for the News section, which means I won't have to remember to go in every few days to check to see I've not missed anything.

Also good - lots more content from each issue of JLSS is now available on the site.



Now...The Bad.

The Archive (used to be Library) area of the site is the part I use most, and therefore also the part where I see the changes most.

The current issue of the JLSS showing is the August issue. Previously, it would show the current issue, which in this case would be the September issue. The appearance of the newest issue at the top of the site gave us an idea whether our copy had gone missing or not. And as the solicitors always seem to get their copies before the Library subs turned up, we were able to refer to the current issue pdf when we got the familiar requests saying "X told me Y would be in the Journal this month, is it?". Now, we can't do that.

Wait...as I wrote this I double checked the site again - it's now the September issue showing. So, in the new way of working, does that mean the 'new' old issue appearing means the 'new'new issue is due out, ie October? Follow that convoluted sentence if ya can!

The search option is just plain stupid. Again, a before and after comparison.

December 2007:











And now:













See that glowing box in the top right? Yup, that's what used to be that lovely, restrictable search option, with 40+ categories to narrow it down by, the option to restrict it only to Journal material...

Now, you search all content, whether you like it or not. Thankfully, so far the magical "quotation marks" are helping, as you can see from my "company law" versus company law search results below:




Also, it's not helpful to not show the source of the results (news item, JLSS article?) in the returned hits. It means I have to click in to everything see if it's just a newsy snippet, or a 'proper' result from the Journal. And what's the ranking of the result? By relevance? Date? I have no idea, it doesn't say.

In other words, they removed a good, accurate search tool, and replaced it with...well...meh.

So, JLSS, whoever you got to design your new website, could you ask them to put back the useful parts of it, while leaving the shiny new look? Kthxbai.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Relaunching a library service

What do you do when you decide to do what is verging on library-based insanity, and basically scrap your current library service, and relaunch everything - physical layout, LMS, and classification system? In my case, spend a year, planning, developing, preparing….and then a frantic few weeks hauling stock!
The background to this apparent madness is this: when I took on this role I inherited a library using a layout that didn’t seem to make sense, a classification system I wasn’t familiar with, and an LMS that had been in place for 20 years but didn’t seem suited to our needs. As I was new to the library, a major part of the time I had available while settling in during my initial few months was dedicated to exploring how well these things were working, both for users, and library staff. I had the benefit of my colleague also being new to the library, only a few months after me, so together we looked at these issues with fresh eyes.We came to the following conclusions: The physical layou…

Impressive shelving technique

I have a new role model: the shelving technique demonstrated between 12 and 18 seconds by the librarian in this Lucozade video is something to aspire to! :D


Too close to the problem to see the achievements

Sometimes, you have so much to do, that you can't see what you've actually done. I'm feeling very much that way at the moment, so I thought I'd make a public list for myself of all the work and professional things I've done since taking up my role in mid January. Then maybe I'll feel less like I'm just not very good at anything. It's worth a try. Although for obvious reasons, I can't publicly say much about the baddest/hardest stuff, but...it's in there. Maybe it's not explicit about how hard it's been, but it's there.

So: what have I done?


Service management and development

Replaced someone who ran the library for 21 years, who retired 3 months before I started, and gave me no handover information.Got 6 weeks of company/training on the library from an assistant, who then retired, leaving me as the only person in the organisation who knew anything about how the library actually worked.Done the assistant librarian and librarian job simu…