Evaluating Digital Library’s Service Concept and Pre-Launch Implementation
Authors: Heli Kautonen
Abstract: The paper presents a challenging online service concept for culture and science, namely the public interface of the Finnish Digital Library, known as Finna. Its most distinctive features originate from the fact that practically all Finnish libraries, archives, and museums are prospective partners through Finna. From the viewpoint of human-computer interaction (HCI), Finna’s greatest challenges are 1) to design and implement user experience for a heterogeneous target population, and 2) to design and implement a service that merges differing information structures and conventions on the use of libraries’, archives’, and museums’ materials. The paper focuses on four independent usability studies that evaluated the test version of Finna. The studies were planned to cover the most relevant questions and to reveal existing usability problems. Following the current principles of work organization, Finna’s research collaboration partners provided the resources for conducting the studies. The studies’ findings concerned the validity of Finna’s service concept and its implementation. The results indicate that the service may be accepted by its end-users if three issues are resolved: the coverage of content, the representation of materials, and the identity of the service. This will require collaboration between all project partners and Finna’s designers.
Keywords: User Experience Design; Implementation; Evaluation; Usability; Digital Library; Service design
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