To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

An assessment of the usability of the University of the West Indies (Mona, Jamaica) Main Library’s website

Adrian St. Patrick Duncan (The University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica)
Fay Durrant (The University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica)

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 1 June 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to provide an assessment of the usability of the University of the West Indies, Mona, Main Library’s Web site by Master of Arts students of the Department of Library and Information Studies (D.L.I.S.) for the identification of major strengths and weaknesses of the site and to incorporate the results and participant feedback into a redesign that reflects users’ intuitions rather than those of the site developers and library staff.

Design/methodology/approach

One method was used to collect data; Observation. Its instruments included a list of activities executed by students followed by a checklist, which reflected day-to-day usage of the Main Library’s Web site by Master of Arts students in the D.L.I.S. In addition, both usability heuristics and International Standards Organisation (ISO) guidelines were used to assess effectiveness, learnability, usefulness, functionality, navigability and user satisfaction. Respondent strategies used a sample size of five participants in the focus group sessions. Experimental strategies combined observation of five individual participants who performed the usability tests.

Findings

The findings identified challenges in the site’s navigation, user satisfaction and learnability.

Research limitations/implications

There can be further assessment, as this study did not speak specifically to students with disabilities or took into consideration the views of the librarians. Additionally, more ethnographic approaches are required to elicit distinctive Caribbean user behaviors.

Practical implications

The study concludes that usability training should be incorporated into the culture of the library organization as well as more usability testing needs to be done on a more regular basis and on a more student interactive basis.

Originality/value

The paper presents issues of usability and the impact of technology on information access, memorability, learnability and functionality of an academic library’s Web site.

Keywords

Citation

Duncan, A.S.P. and Durrant, F. (2015), "An assessment of the usability of the University of the West Indies (Mona, Jamaica) Main Library’s website", The Electronic Library, Vol. 33 No. 3, pp. 590-599. https://doi.org/10.1108/EL-11-2013-0207

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited