Over the last year we have been redesigning the â€˜Recordsâ€™ section of the website, now called â€˜Help with your researchâ€™, aimed at researchers needing help and guidance. Following on from improving access to our research guides we have now redesigned the remainder of this section.
The vast majority of the changes have been cosmetic; that is to say just moving the content into a cleaner, responsive and more visually appealing design that can be used on any device, whatever the screen size.
However, we have a few small adjustments to the structure of the pages:
Flattening the structure
Previously under our old â€˜Recordsâ€™ heading (now Help with your research), we had a section called â€˜Understand the archivesâ€™. Weâ€™ve now bought all the content from that section up directly onto the â€˜Help with your researchâ€™ landing page. The more descriptive title of â€˜Help with your researchâ€™ better caters for this content and removing the additional layer of navigation will give users more direct access, making it easier to browse.
This content that has moved includes:
- Start here section
- Reading old documents
- Citing old documents
- Webinars â€“ linking directly to available recordings, and whatâ€™s coming next
Weâ€™ve removed the â€˜Caring for your own recordsâ€™ page (still accessible in our web archive) and we will be writing a blog post to give updated guidance to researchers on how best to care for their records â€“ watch this space!
Online collections in one place
The biggest change has been to our â€˜Catalogues and online recordsâ€™ page. Our user research highlighted that the content and layout of this page was confusing, and seemed to include miscellaneous content. It contained a small collection of our online records (ones that have been digitised and made available through partner websites such as Ancestry and Findmypast), as well as links to other catalogues and some of our online exhibitions.
We have now added the collections held on partner sites to our main list of online collections so they are all now in one place regardless of who is offering access to them. Feedback from our users highlighted that they felt they shouldnâ€™t have to look for online collections in different places. Weâ€™ve made it easy to identify those available on Ancestry and Findmypast through the use of their logos and clear calls to action.
Weâ€™ve put the remaining catalogues and databases, as well as the online exhibitions, directly onto the â€˜Help with your researchâ€™ landing page. We have ensured our current â€˜Catalogues and online recordsâ€™ page is still accessible for the next month to give you time to get used to these changes.
We hope that the changes will make the content easier to read and to navigate, as well as being nicer to look at, regardless of what device you are using to access our website!