Usability of library and archives' digital environments as a quality requirement. Context, models, and evaluation tools


A digital environment whose aim is making easily available resources, documents and information, such as an OPAC, a digital library or an archive online, is not fully effective if it does not meet final users’ satisfaction. Usability is one of the key macro-requirements for ensuring the quality of interaction between users and systems in order to seek, identify, select and consume content. The LIS and archival community, more and more intensely involved in the design of digital environments, must be aware of models and tools available to measure the perceived satisfaction. A quality reference model should include the fundamental issues related to usability, largely independent of the type of application and content. This paper contextualizes the quality of use of software products in the light of existing LIS models and presents some non-specialist evaluation tools freely available to the Italian community.


user studies; quality evaluation; usability; opac; digital library; archive online

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