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Knowledge of information behaviour and its relevance to the design of people‐centred information products and services

Mark Hepworth (Department of Information Science, Research School of Informatics, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Article publication date: 23 January 2007

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is first to highlight some of the social phenomena that are driving the design of people‐centred information solutions; second, to develop a broad ontology of information behaviour research that serves to identify factors that should be taken into account when designing such solutions. Finally, the author illustrates how this knowledge is being applied in the design of people‐centred inclusive information products and services.

Design/methodology/approach

The author draws on the information behaviour literature to highlight key drivers and to develop and illustrate the ontological framework. The significance of this framework is then demonstrated by providing examples of how this knowledge has been applied in the design of people‐centred inclusive information products and services.

Research limitations/implications

This is a conceptual paper and based on the informed, subjective analysis of previous research. However, relating theory to practice does provide an indication of the validity of this conception of one's knowledge of information behaviour to people‐centred design.

Originality/value

The paper helps to provide an overview of information behaviour research, the nature of the domain and the levels of abstraction. The article also makes a direct link between the theoretical world of information behaviour research and the empirical world of people‐centred design. Hence, it also presents a case for the importance of the body of knowledge that people in information science refer to as information behaviour.

Keywords

Citation

Hepworth, M. (2007), "Knowledge of information behaviour and its relevance to the design of people‐centred information products and services", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 63 No. 1, pp. 33-56. https://doi.org/10.1108/00220410710723876

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited