Usability and Contemporary User Experience in Digital Libraries
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The contemporary experience of users on the Web has undergone marked transformations owing to trends such as Web 2.0, Cloud Computing and the associated user-centered propensities. These transformations have had significant impacts on user experience (UX) and the expectation of how digital libraries should be facilitated. This project (UX2.0) addresses the requirement of repositories to fully engage the end users who have become less tolerant of badly design system and expect Web 2.0 experience as norms.
Usability and Evaluation
There is a pressing need for usability studies to assess the current and future breeds of information environments such that their complex and unique nature can be better understood, well-formed and validated. In UX2.0, usability studies will be performed on a selected digital libraries (DLs) and Web 2.0 technologies. A detailed study will be carried out on library@nesc. The digital library and its subsequent enhancements are subjected to formative evaluation based on the Interaction Triptych Framework (ITF) which recognises channels of communication between the main components of DLs: user, content and system, and aspects, viz., usability (user-system), usefulness (user-content) and performance (system-content). The evaluation will provide scientific analysis into the current area of UX development and advance the ITF as a framework for Web 2.0. The (perceived) efficacy and usability of Cloud Computing will also be evaluated.
A key aspect of UX2.0 is the assimilation of contemporary UX techniques and Cloud Computing, to enhance the user interface and infrastructure of library@nesc. The development is based on the diffusion-concentration paradigm (Lorcan Dempsey) and spans 5 levels of technology stacks: widget, machine services, hub, repository and storage. Diffusion UX development refers to decontextualised services (widgets, machine services) from library@nesc and their use in other heterogeneous virtual environments designated by the users based on their needs. UX2.0 also considers the diffusion of technologies at infrastructure level: (entire) front-end, repository (Fedora) and storage through Cloud Computing mechanisms. Concentration UX development targets scenarios that will enhance the role of library@nesc as a hub, through local and federated UX technologies. This involves the adoption of highly dynamic and customisable user-interface (AJAX) and DL-oriented enhancements such as customisable search targets, faceted searching, metadata and content wikis and federated social networking facilities.
- UX2.0 aims to enhance the user experience of a digital library, library@nesc, through technological developments that are centered on usability inspection and evaluation.
- Boon Low, UX2.0: Developer, Manager, UK National e-Science Centre