ERIC Number: ED459826
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Jun
Use of Multiple Digital Libraries: A Case Study.
Blandford, Ann; Stelmaszewska, Hanna; Bryan-Kinns, Nick
Digital libraries are moving from research and development into commercial use. If they are to realize their full potential, however, the experiences of end users need to be taken into account from the earliest stages of design. Those end users are typically individuals who have no particular skills in information retrieval, and are accessing library resources from their own desks, without support from a librarian. These factors clearly have implications for design. The aim of the work reported in this paper was to better understand the usability issues raised when digital libraries are used in a natural setting. The method used was a protocol analysis of users working on a task of their own choosing to retrieve documents from publicly available digital libraries. Various classes of usability difficulties were found. This paper focuses on "use in context"--that is, usability concerns that arise from the fact that libraries are accessed in particular ways, under technically and organizationally imposed constraints, and that use of any particular resource is discretionary. The concepts from an Interaction Framework, which provides support for reasoning about patterns of interaction between users and systems, are applied to understand interaction issues. (Contains 17 references.) (Author/AEF)
Descriptors: Access to Information, Computer System Design, Electronic Libraries, Information Retrieval, Information Seeking, Interaction, Man Machine Systems, Online Systems, User Needs (Information), Users (Information)
Association for Computing Machinery, 1515 Broadway, New York NY 10036. Tel: 800-342-6626 (Toll Free); Tel: 212-626-0500; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For full text: http://www1.acm.org/pubs/contents/proceedings/dl/379437/.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE-CS Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (1st, Roanoke, Virginia, June 24-28, 2001). For entire proceedings, see IR 058 348. Figures may not reproduce well. Supported by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).