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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

Areas of Investigation

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.

Current Project

Digital Libraries Personas Pool - Best Practices

The aim of this project is to reach out to cultural heritage institutions and gather examples of personas designed for digital libraries. Once gathered our group plans to share the collection with the broader digital libraries community and then analyze the resources to understand how libraries represent diverse groups of digital library users.

Inactive Projects

Usability Standardization - Literature Tagging Project

Subgroup Communications & Resources

Monthly Meetings

Our meetings are traditionally held on the 2nd Friday of each month unless otherwise noted here. Call details can be found in our 2017 Meeting & Agenda doc

Next Meeting: Friday, January 27th, 2017 @ 11am pt/12pm mt/1pm ct/2pm et.


Our final working documents are organized in Open Science Framework and project coordination and working drafts stored in a shared Google Drive folder. Our agenda and meeting minutes document contains the latest updates to the project we're working on.


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.


Back to the User Studies home page

Back to the Assessment home page