Use of multiple digital libraries: A case study

Ann Blandford, H Stelmaszewska, N Bryan-Kinns
in Proceedings of the ACM International Conference on Digital Libraries, Journal article


The aim of the work reported here was to better understand the usability issues raised when digital libraries are used in a natural setting. The method used was a protocol analysis of users working on a task of their own choosing to retrieve documents from publicly available digital libraries. Various classes of usability difficulties were found. Here, we focus on use in context - that is, usability concerns that arise from the fact that libraries are accessed in particular ways, under technically and organisationally imposed constraints, and that use of any particular resource is discretionary. The concepts from an Interaction Framework, which provides support for reasoning about patterns of interaction between users and systems, are applied to understand interaction issues. Copyright 2001 ACM.