A Case for Adaptation to Enhance Usability and Accessibility of Library Resource Discovery Tools
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBeyene W, Ferati M: A Case for Adaptation to Enhance Usability and Accessibility of Library Resource Discovery Tools. In: Antona M, Stephanidis C. Universal Access in Human–Computer Interaction:Design and Development Approaches and Methods, 2017. Springer p. 145-155
Library resource discovery tools (RDTs) are the latest generation of library catalogs that enable searching across disparate databases and repositories from a single search box. Although such “Google-like” experience has been applauded as a benefit for library users, there still exist usability and accessibility problems related to the diversity of user goals, needs, and preferences. To better understand these problems, we conducted an extensive literature review and in this process, we initially grouped issues into three categories: interface, resource description, and navigation. Based on these categories, we propose adaptation as an alternative approach to enhance the usability and accessibility of RDTs. The adaptations could be conducted on three levels pertaining to categories of issues found, namely: interface, information, and navigation level. The goal of this paper is to suggest how the process of adaptation could be considered in order to mitigate usability and accessibility issues of RDT interfaces.