Like most catalogues, our system provides a basic keyword search box, as well as an "advanced keyword" search form that allows the user to set various options and search limits (sort order and date limits are the two obvious ones). The problem with our system (I don't know if this is a general "Innovative" issue, or just limited to the way MPOW has the catalogue configured) is that it doesn't do what the user expects. Consider this scenario:
- The user goes to the "advanced keyword search" screen, types in some search terms, changes the sort order to "relevance", and limits the results to "books"
- After looking at the search results, the user uses the keyword search box on the results screen to adjust the search terms and reruns the search
- The second set of search results is sorted by title (the default), and is no longer limited to just books.
Library catalogues seem to regularly violate the principle of least astonishment in ways that would probably be easy to avoid. Why is that?