AM08 2008 START Conference Manager    

Characterizing a Digital Library’s Users: Steps towards a Nuanced View of the User

Lorraine Normore

ASIS&T 2008 Annual Meeting (AM08 2008)
Columbus, Ohio, October 24-29, 2008


The importance of understanding the wants and needs of an information sources’ users is a key belief of user-centered design. In digital libraries, we find two approaches to including users as factors in system design. User studies tend to provide a more abstract view and can be associated with information science research. Usability assessment tends to be associated with the practical assessment of the ease, efficiency, learnability, and flexibility of the digital library. However, usability assessment seldom deals with differences in user communities. This study of the information needs and information seeking values of three groups of digital library users illustrates how important it is to understand differences between user communities, to have a “nuanced view of the user”, to support informed decisions assessing the need for digital library content and organization.

START Conference Manager (V2.54.6)