Usability analysis for redesign of a Caribbean academic library web site: a case study

Awduron Sefydliadau
Math Erthygl
Iaith wreiddiolSaesneg
Tudalennau (o-i)200-211
Nifer y tudalennau12
CyfnodolynOCLC Systems and Services
Cyfrol25
Rhif y cyfnodolyn3
Dangosyddion eitem ddigidol (DOIs)
StatwsCyhoeddwyd - 01 Hyd 2009
Cysylltiadau
Gweld graff cysylltiadau
Fformatau enwi

Crynodeb

Purpose – This paper seeks to present a usability evaluation of the web site of the Main Library of the St Augustine Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) to get users and site visitors to identify the major strengths and weaknesses of the site and to incorporate the results and participant feedback into a redesign that reflects users' intuitions rather than those of the site developers and librarians.

Design/methodology/approach – A combination of experimental and respondent research strategies was used to evaluate usability. These included survey questionnaires, focus groups, formal usability testing and card sort. In addition, both usability heuristics and ISO guidelines were used to assess effectiveness, learnability, usefulness and user satisfaction. Respondent strategies used a sample size of 529 participants for the self-completion questionnaires and 16 participants in the focus group sessions. Experimental strategies combined observation of 21 individual participants and three groups of participants in the usability tests. In the card sort protocol nine individual participants and three groups of participants were observed.

Findings – The findings identified challenges in the site's information architecture (labelling and organisation) and in the interface design.

Research limitations/implications – More ethnographic approaches are needed to elicit distinctive Caribbean user behaviours.

Practical implications – The study concludes that similar usability evaluations should be undertaken at the other UWI campus library web sites and that usability training should be incorporated into the culture of the library organisation. Critical next steps for the web designer are also suggested.

Originality/value – The paper presents issues of organisational change and the impact of technology on the relationship between systems and user services librarians.

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