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The WEB Book experiments in electronic textbook design

Wilson, R. and Landoni, M. and Gibb, F. (2003) The WEB Book experiments in electronic textbook design. Journal of Documentation, 59 (4). pp. 454-477. ISSN 0022-0418

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This paper describes a series of three evaluations of electronic textbooks on the Web, which focused on assessing how appearance and design can affect users' sense of engagement and directness with the material. The EBONI Project's methodology for evaluating electronic textbooks is outlined and each experiment is described, together with an analysis of results. Finally, some recommendations for successful design are suggested, based on an analysis of all experimental data. These recommendations underline the main findings of the evaluations: that users want some features of paper books to be preserved in the electronic medium, while also preferring electronic text to be written in a scannable style.