8 thoughts on “Improving your online experience: how we are embracing user-centred design to build better online tools

  1. I am a military researcher and author and have been using the LAC site to access First World War records for many years. The legacy site provides much better and easier access to those records than the new site does. I hope that you don’t remove access to the legacy site until improvements are made in the new site to make it more user friendly.

    • Thanks for reaching out. The biggest challenge is keeping our focus on a limited number of issues or products at a time. It’s tempting to take on way more challenges than our small team can handle, because there is a desire to examine and improve all kinds of services that LAC provides. However, we can make a bigger impact by working on a limited number of products or services and seeing them all the way through.

  2. Pingback: Rétrospective 2022: la liste du Père-Noël | Convergence AAQ

  3. As the head of an independent Archives (operating since 1978) in the Town of Gravenhurst and a researcher into the history of our participation in the two world wars, I must beg you NOT to change the present access route to the military records of First World War soldiers. I am writing two books on the men who went from our area to the Great War and I rely on fast access to their military records as i write. I would hate to think that I have to try to refind all of these records by some other “improved” access route.

    • Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback on the database for Personnel Records of the First World War.

      To start, it is important to note that the First World War database you are using for your research is currently running on outdated technology and could permanently break at any time. The system responsible for this product is no longer maintained and many researchers have noticed that the search is often quite slow and will go as far as returning error messages on a frequent basis. We are confident that Collection Search is a much better product for your research and is built on a significantly more robust system. Furthermore, we are constantly working on improving its performance based on client feedback.

      Here are the instructions on how to search for personnel records of the First World War inside Collection Search:

      1- From the Collection Search basic search page, click on “Advanced search” on the right: https://recherche-collection-search.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/home/index
      2- From the drop down menu “Database”, select “First World War Personnel Records”

      We agree that these steps are not as convenient as a direct link to the search form that researchers can bookmark. We are happy to inform you that will soon be working on creating a unique URL link for the new search database for the First World War Personnel Records. The visual and search experience will be similar to what we are now offering through the embedded search form for the Second World War – War Dead database available here: https://recherche-collection-search.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/help/kia.

      As you may notice, the new Second World War – War Dead database offers the same search fields that were offered with the previous (old) database. The First and Last name search fields offer a higher quality wildcard search, the system itself is stable and fast, and search results can be sorted in alphabetical order. Our plan is to replicate the same experience with the Personnel records of the First World War.

      Another useful feature within Collection Search is the ability to save records to “My Research”, a free tool that allows you to save you research to your favourites folders. “My Research” and other features are available by creating an online account. More information on “My Account” is available at: https://library-archives.canada.ca/eng/collection/basics/Pages/about-my-account.aspx.

      We hope this information is useful. If you have any other questions or feedback you would like to share, please feel free to contact the Digital Access team at recherchecollectionsqr-collectionsearchqa@bac-lac.gc.ca.

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