Web‐tutorials in context: affordances and usability perspectives

Haakon Lund (Royal School of Library and Information Science, Copenhagen, Denmark)
Niels Ole Pors (Royal School of Library and Information Science, Copenhagen, Denmark)

Performance Measurement and Metrics

ISSN: 1467-8047

Publication date: 23 November 2012



The purpose of the research is to investigate Norwegian web‐tutorials in contexts consisting of organizational issues and different forms of usability in relation to students’ perception and use of the system. Further, the research investigates the usefulness of the concepts concerning affordances and different forms of usability.


The research has employed a variety of data‐collection methods including interviews with librarians, interviews and focus group interviews with students, coupled with tests of their capabilities using the systems. A detailed research design is included in the paper.


In the organizational context, the research confirmed the importance of a close contact with teachers and disciplines and it was also clearly indicated that disciplines that supported an evidence‐based approach to research were much more active in using the tutorials as part of the requirements. Further, examples of organizational amnesia are discussed, pointing to the necessity for leadership support and systematic knowledge sharing. System Usability Scores are analysed in relation to solution of tasks and interesting relations are analysed. The perceptions of students were also interesting, clearly indicating marked differences in perceptions depending on study year and discipline but also different valuation of the different forms of usability. Overall, the research indicated a discrepancy between design intentions versus use and perception of the tutorials.


The theoretical approach has not been used often in library and information science research and the paper indicates its usefulness for further research. The findings presented in the paper also have implications for the way libraries design and promote information literacy tools.



Lund, H. and Ole Pors, N. (2012), "Web‐tutorials in context: affordances and usability perspectives", Performance Measurement and Metrics, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 197-211. https://doi.org/10.1108/14678041211284731

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