Posted by: bluesyemre | September 17, 2013

Usability Testing of Digital Libraries: The Experience of EPrints

usability

  • Digital libraries should provide a qualified service in allowing their users to access data within a well-organized format. It is critical to enrich interaction among users and the interface. To measure the level of interaction, common analyses such as usability tests or socio-technical analyses are practiced throughout the literature. The interfaces can be enhanced with the data gathered from these types of analyses. The main aim of this study is to realize a qualitative usability test for the users of the Digital Archive of Hacettepe University Department of Information Management. The archive in question was exclusively created by this paper’s authors who have participated in the project. In our case, a formal usability test was chosen for the analysis and a total of 5 participants -not only from library staff or those who practiced information sciences- but also from different areas have participated in the study. The test was divided into three sections; pre-test, usability test and post-test. A total of 4 questions were identified which aimed at measuring the ease of finding an article, accessing full texts, signing up for a new account and finding a given author. The preliminary findings showed that the most convenient option that EPrints software provided was in finding an article, as all of the participants have managed to answer this question fairly easy and quick. On the other hand, the most challenging situation proved to be signing up for a new account. The main reason behind this was discovered to be the sending and receiving of the confirmation e-mails in the activation procedure. There are a few papers in the literature which evaluates EPrints through utilizing a usability test. Consequently, the results from this study can be considered important in not only improving the quality of the tested archive, but also the EPrints software itself.

http://j.mp/1a06Qcw


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