So, we want to make our OPAC more intuitive? So why are we still using searches with labels like "subject" that aren't structured in a way that most of our users understand? How do your users ask for information?
"Hi, I need a book about birds."
Maybe they'd be able to search it themselves if, say, the OPAC page looked like this:
I'm looking for a/an ______ about _______ , by ______ .*
(For all us librarians out there, of course that translates as, "I'm looking for a/an [insert material type here] about [subject], by [author/creator].)
Or am I just plumb crazy?
I'm not saying to nix the google-like keyword option, but give the natural-language folks an option, too. It just seems good sense to provide online searches in the same language and structure as our users ask for information. After all, shouldn't an intuitive interface operate like our users think?
* Surely, somewhere, an interface like this has already been discussed/developed/tried/discarded. If you've got a reference, please let me know; I'd love to read it.