Usability, functionality, and accessibility testing of digital library information services and products is essential for providing high quality services to users. This paper aims to detail a long‐term, evolving effort to develop meaningful evaluations for assessing digital libraries.
A multi‐year study to determine appropriate evaluation techniques, tools, and methodologies for the Florida Electronic Library (FEL) and other digital library efforts. The evaluation protocols and approaches were designed iteratively over time through assessment efforts with other digital library initiatives and with multiple versions of the FEL. The research described in this paper relies on a combination of functionality, usability, and accessibility evaluation strategies applied iteratively to assess libraries from the perspective of patron needs.
By combining these three methodologies, the researchers found that they were able to create a rich and robust evaluation of digital libraries, accounting for needs of diverse user populations. These methodologies can provide detailed evaluations of the extent to which information and services are comprehensible for all users, the extent to which the features and functions necessary to provide library functions operate properly, and the extent to which the digital library meets the needs of a diverse population of users.
This paper aims to demonstrate the potential roles of multiple, iterative evaluation strategies in the development and refinement of digital libraries; details the methodologies that focus on how the services meet the needs of users; and encourages further discussion of the uses of these multiple evaluation approaches in assessing these libraries.
Carlo Bertot, J., Snead, J., Jaeger, P. and McClure, C. (2006), "Functionality, usability, and accessibility: Iterative user‐centered evaluation strategies for digital libraries", Performance Measurement and Metrics, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 17-28. https://doi.org/10.1108/14678040610654828Download as .RIS
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