Sustainable design for multiple audiences

Lisa R. Norberg (University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA)
Kim Vassiliadis (University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA)
Jean Ferguson (Perkins Library, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA)
Natasha Smith (Library Digitization Services for the Documenting the American South Project, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA)

OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives

ISSN: 1065-075X

Publication date: 1 December 2005

Abstract

Purpose

To demonstrate the value in conducting a usability study and following an iterative design process to create a more user‐centered and sustainable digital library.

Design/methodology/approach

After identifying three key user groups, a series of usability tests and focus groups were conducted to assess how users interact with the site's interface. An iterative design process followed involving the development and testing of prototypes by representative users and stakeholders.

Findings

Users' interaction with a digital library is task‐oriented and context dependent. Serving the needs of multiple audiences is an iterative process and requires an ongoing dialog with users.

Research limitations/implications

Like most usability studies, the results are not generalizable.

Practical implications

It offers an example of how an informal usability study and iterative design process can be conducted to create a more user‐centered digital library.

Originality/value

This paper provides new insights into the information needs and behaviors of users of cultural heritage digital libraries and builds on the literature on usability and iterative design.

Keywords

Citation

Norberg, L., Vassiliadis, K., Ferguson, J. and Smith, N. (2005), "Sustainable design for multiple audiences", OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives, Vol. 21 No. 4, pp. 285-299. https://doi.org/10.1108/10650750510629625

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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