Competitive Usability and the Catalogue: A Process for Justification and Selection of a Next-Generation Catalogue or Web-Scale Discovery System
Gallaway, Teri OaksView Profile; Hines, Mary Finnan
Abstract: This case study demonstrates how competitive usability testing informs the selection and purchase of a next-generation catalogue (NGC) or Web-scale discovery system (WSDS) to enhance a current library catalogue. Using competitive usability techniques, the authors explain how different NGCs and WSDSs solve issues that catalogue users may face when searching for materials in the online catalogue. The goal of this study is to provide a framework that identifies concrete evidence in support of purchase recommendations for an effective system that adequately addresses locally identified issues with catalogue searches. The process of selecting live system implementations from peer institutions is outlined. Steps include surveying library staffabout their current library catalogue. Survey results and documented reference questions provided the foundation for user tasks created by testers for use in this study. This multifaceted research design resulted in a case study that captures current issues that users encounter in the discovery and access to library materials and shows how to include competitive usability techniques as part of a purchase rationale while assessing how well a variety of next-generation discovery and access systems address users' issues.
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