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A user-centred approach to ebook design

Wilson, R. and Landoni, M. and Gibb, F. (2002) A user-centred approach to ebook design. Electronic Library, 20 (4). pp. 322-330. ISSN 0264-0473

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Abstract

This paper considers the Electronic Books ON-screen Interface (EBONI) Project's research into the importance of the user when designing electronic textbooks. The results of the Visual Book and the WEB Book experiments, which explored design aspects of e-books and provide a backdrop to EBONI's research, are presented. EBONI's methodology and evaluations, involving over 200 students, lecturers and researchers in UK Higher Education, are described, and the findings discussed. It is proposed that, while aspects of paper books such as tables of contents, indexes and typography should be retained, books delivered electronically should also adapt to fit the new medium through use of hypertext, search engines and multimedia. In terms of the design of e-book hardware, issues such as size and weight, display technology and functionality are of primary importance to users. These findings have been presented to creators of educational digital content in the form of a set of Electronic Textbook Design Guidelines.