Thursday, October 12, 2006

Which Library Expressions Do Users (Not) Understand?

At the Supreme Court of Canada Library, we brought out a new online catalogue in the spring. We are now preparing to expand its offerings by adding modules, such as federated searching across multiple catalogues and databases and link resolver software to allow users to connect to electronic journals and even full-text articles directly from the catalogue.

That means we have added and/or will be adding many new links on the catalogue page.

Which raises the question (or problem) of what to name those links.

John Kupersmith, reference librarian at the University of California, Berkeley has created a web resource called Library Terms That Users Understand:

"This site is intended to help library web developers decide how to label key resources and services in such a way that most users can understand them well enough to make productive choices. It serves as a clearinghouse of usability test data evaluating terminology on library websites, and suggests test methods and best practices for reducing cognitive barriers caused by terminology."

He has brought together findings from 47 usability studies.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:31 pm


Blogger Wendy Reynolds said...

Very interesting - I wonder if such a study has been done for other subject specializations (IT springs to mind, as does law...).

1:17 pm  

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