ASIST AM 03 2003 START ConferenceManager    

Fitting Users' Needs into Web-Based Area Studies Resources: A Study of the Latin American Network Information Center (LANIC)

Bethany Lynn Letalien and Hsin-Liang Chen

Presented at ASIST 2003 Annual Meeting -- Humanizing Information Technology: From Ideas to Bits and Back (ASIST AM 03 2003), Westin Long Beach, Long Beach, California, October 20 - 23, 2003


Abstract

The Latin American Network Information Center (LANIC, http://lanic.utexas.edu/) is an academic Website that houses various databases and similar projects and provides directory access to sites in and about Latin America. Exploratory research into the site?s usability was performed in October and November of 2002 through surveys, card sorting, and observation. Problems addressed included users' (in)ability to identify and use databases, (in)adequacy of the site's and the directory's hierarchical structures, (in)adequacy of subject terms, and page size. Several open-ended questions were used to solicit criticisms and suggestions from users. Overall, users were successful in using the Website and expressed satisfaction with it, but some problems, both major and minor, were uncovered.


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