February 17, 2018

EBSCO Enhances Visual Searching

By Michael Rogers

  • Two visual search interfaces for EBSCOhost
  • Boon for visual search learners
  • Results returned as colored blocks or columns

The EBSCOhost interface has gotten a face-lift thanks to new “Visual Search options and additional clusters,” designed to expedite searching. The vendor said the new Visual Search options “provide visual learners” with graphical approaches to locating information, while the enhanced clustering helps “all users to narrow their searches right from the results list.”

Visual Search offers two interfaces, one with colored blocks to represent a record/article. “The blocks are part of a map of results that enable users to see what they are searching and where the next step may lead,” EBSCO explained. With results framed in blocks, users can select subject clusters to narrow their searches.

A second interface features columns of results with each item representing a subject/article. Moving from column to column creates a “bread crumb trail” so users can follow their path, backtrack if necessary, and take a new route. Enhanced clusters improve EBSCO­host’s current “narrow by” feature through additional index fields including company, geography, industry codes, age, gender, and publication type.