Contents: Information Users and Usability in the Digital Age

Preface ix
Acknowledgements xiii
Figures and tables xv

1 Introduction 1

  • Information users 4
  • Users in the web environment 4
  • User studies 12
  • Human information behaviour 13
  • The usability and evaluation of information services 14
  • So, what's the problem? 16
  • About this book 20
  • Summary 23
  • References 23

2 Information needs and user studies 25

  • Introduction 25
  • Information needs 26
  • Analysis of information needs 29
  • User studies 30
  • Factors affecting information needs 34
  • User study methods 38
  • Qualitative vs quantitative research in user studies 38
  • Methods of data collection 40
  • Summary 51
  • References 52

3 Human information behaviour studies and models 55

  • Introduction 55
  • Human information behaviour 56
  • Information seeking and retrieva 57
  • Models in human information behaviour and information seeking and retrieval 58
  • Information seeking on the web 64
  • Some new information seeking behaviour models 66
  • Summary 75
  • References 77

4 Usability study basics 85

  • Introduction 85
  • Usability 85
  • How to conduct a usability study 88
  • Summary 105
  • References 106

5 Usability study participants 109

  • Introduction 109
  • Selection of study participants 109
  • Challenges when selecting study participants 118
  • Summary 119
  • References 120

6 Usability data analysis 123

  • Introduction 123
  • Datatypes 124
  • Independent vs dependent variables 125
  • Nominal vs ordinal data 126
  • Descriptive vs inferential statistics 128
  • Parametric vs non-parametric tests 131
  • Comparing means: t-tests vs ANOVA tests 131
  • Correlation analysis 135
  • Chi square tests 135
  • Qualitative analysis 136
  • Summary 139
  • References 139

7 Web usability 141

  • Introduction 141
  • What are the challenges? 142
  • Which method? 143
  • User-centred design and accessibility issues 145
  • Web usability and accessibility 146
  • Usability metrics and heuristic evaluation 147
  • Summary 150
  • References 151

8 The usability of digital libraries 153

  • Introduction 153
  • Approaches to digital library usability studies 154
  • Usability factors in digital libraries 155
  • Digital library usability study models and techniques 158
  • Usability studies conducted by members of the Digital Library Federation 160
  • Usability studies of Europeana Digital Library 161
  • MEDLIS: a digital library usability model 162
  • Summary 164
  • References 165

9 The digital divide, digital natives and usability 169

  • Introduction 169
  • Connotations of the digital divide 170
  • Indicators of digital divid 171
  • Digital divide indicators and usability 172
  • The digital divide and digital natives 176
  • Information skills and usability 178
  • Context and the digital divide 179
  • Summary 180
  • References 182

10 Issues and trends in usability research 187

  • Introduction 187
  • Usability methods and techniques 188
  • External factors affecting usability 191
  • Emerging technologies for access to digital content 192
  • Usability of e-books 194
  • Emerging access and business models 195
  • Social challenges: the digital divide and information skills 197
  • Conclusion 198
  • References 198
  • Index 203
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