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Use & Usability Best Practices & Guidelines builds on the following work products of previous AIG working groups:

  1. A literature review and compiled bibliography
  2. The white paper: Surveying the Landscape: Use and Usability Assessment of Digital Libraries

We have extended the literature review to include more usability/user assessment research, and are tagging this content according to topical area, and using this extended bibliography to inform our investigations. Our working documents are organized in Open Science Framework and are stored in a shared Google Drive folder.

Current Projects

We are taking a multi-faceted approach to determining the best way to develop guidelines and best practices in user/usability studies. As this is a tremendous task, we encourage you to join in the effort, as clarity in this area will save us all a great deal of work, resources and confusion.

Areas currently under investigation include:

Identifying users and user behavior. What are the methods used? What are the components of how that occurs? Are there measurable comparisons on how that's being handled? How do we determine the effectiveness of the methods in use?

Learnability. How is learnability being measured? What is the definition of learnability? What is the most effective method for assessment?

Accessibility. This is a relatively new area, and one which is legally mandated. Implementation outside the digital library community is fairly standardized, but we need research within the digital library community, and case studies on how accessibility is implemented in common digital library systems.

Usability. What is the definition of usability, and what are its components? The [ISO 25000 series standards][1] provide clarity on several aspects of quality measurements for software. However, there are aspects of usability that are critical to digital libraries which are not covered in the standards, such as discoverability of content via web search engines. Determining what the critical aspects of usability are which are *not* covered via standards is the first step to developing guidelines for assessment.

There are many other aspects to usability and user studies, and we welcome others who would like to pursue them. Here is where we have shared working areas, and can provide open access for white papers and other results, with excellent visibility. If you would like to join us, please join the Google Group linked below and speak up about your interests.


Usability Standardization - Literature Tagging Project

Get Involved

We are seeking broader participation! If you have any questions, or are interested in participating in the working group, please contact Kate Thornhill or join our Google Group.

Next Meeting - December 2016: Confirmation Coming Soon


Back to the User Studies home page

Back to the Assessment home page