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Advancing open government data portals: a comparative usability evaluation study

Di Wang (School of Information Management, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China) (Department of Computing, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia)
Deborah Richards (Department of Computing, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia)
Ayse Aysin Bilgin (Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia)
Chuanfu Chen (School of Information Management, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 11 May 2021

199

Abstract

Purpose

To address the key problem of lack of use in the advancement of open government data (OGD) portals from the aspect of good usability, which is an essential prerequisite to the acceptance and usage of a portal, this paper aims to develop a usability framework including design principles and criteria for OGD portals and to discover problems in the present usability design.

Design/methodology/approach

This study builds the usability framework by extending usability principles for general websites to address the specific needs of OGD portals. Criteria for each principle are developed accordingly based on the literature. A comparative heuristic evaluation involving five expert evaluators and 13 Chinese province-level OGD portals has been carried out to test the capability of the usability framework.

Findings

A usability framework with 24 principles and 63 criteria has been built. The heuristic evaluation shows OGD portals performed better in meeting general principles than the OGD portals specific ones. Insufficient help functions weakened OGD portals' usability. Similarities and differences were found of Chinese OGD portals compared with similar studies in the United States.

Originality/value

This paper proposed a usability framework for OGD portals and proved its capability in recognizing usability problems and its causes by carrying out a comparative heuristic evaluation in China. By comparing the evaluation results with other studies in the United States, the findings and lessons learnt in this study can thus be shared across international borders.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the China Scholarship Council and Macquarie University (CSC-MQ) Scholarship.

Citation

Wang, D., Richards, D., Bilgin, A.A. and Chen, C. (2021), "Advancing open government data portals: a comparative usability evaluation study", Library Hi Tech, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/LHT-10-2020-0250

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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