Strathprints logo
Strathprints Home | Open Access | Browse | Search | User area | Copyright | Help | Library Home | SUPrimo

Evaluating the usability and usefulness of a digital library

Buchanan, S. and Salako, A. (2009) Evaluating the usability and usefulness of a digital library. Library Review, 58 (9). pp. 638-651. ISSN 0024-2535

Full text not available in this repository. (Request a copy from the Strathclyde author)

Abstract

System usability and system usefulness are interdependent properties of system interaction, which in combination, determine system satisfaction and usage. Often approached separately, or in the case of digital libraries, often focused upon usability, there is emerging consensus among the research community for their unified treatment and research attention. However, a key challenge is to identify, both respectively and relatively, what to measure and how, compounded by concerns regarding common understanding of usability measures, and associated calls for more valid and complete measures within integrated and comprehensive models. The purpose of this paper is to address this challenge. Identified key usability and usefulness attributes and associated measures, compiled an integrated measurement framework, identified a suitable methodological approach for application of the framework, and conducted a pilot study on an interactive search system developed by a Health Service as part of their e-library service. Effectiveness, efficiency, aesthetic appearance, terminology, navigation, and learnability are key attributes of system usability; and relevance, reliability, and currency key attributes of system usefulness. There are shared aspects to several of these attributes, but each is also sufficiently unique to preserve its respective validity. They can be combined as part of a multi-method approach to system evaluation. Pilot study has demonstrated that usability and usefulness can be readily combined, and that questionnaire and observation are valid multi-method approaches, but further research is called for under a variety of conditions, with further combinations of methods, and larger samples. This paper provides an integrated measurement framework, derived from the goal, question, metric paradigm, which provides a relatively comprehensive and representative set of system usability and system usefulness attributes and associated measures, which could be adapted and further refined on a case-by-case basis.

Item type: Article
ID code: 32690
Keywords: digital libraries, systems analysis, user studies, Electronic computers. Computer science, Library and Information Sciences
Subjects: Science > Mathematics > Electronic computers. Computer science
Department: Faculty of Science > Computer and Information Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing user: Pure Administrator
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2011 14:32
Last modified: 05 Sep 2014 10:15
URI: http://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/id/eprint/32690

Actions (login required)

View Item