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