VALA2002 Session 11 Clark

vala peer reviewed

User-Centred Evaluation and Design: A Subject Gateway Perspective

VALA2002 CONCURRENT SESSION 11: Portals and Content Delivery
Friday 8 February 2002, 11:55 – 12:30
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Nicole Clark and Denise Frost

University of Queensland

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Customer expectations of gateway services as well as their information needs are dynamic. The Australasian Virtual Engineering Library (AVEL) has consequently taken an iterative approach to interface design, usability testing and customer needs analysis. User-centred design has ensured that AVEL remains relevant to the way its target audience seeks information to solve “real world” problems. This paper details the methodologies that have been employed by AVEL to discover the needs of customers. It particularly focuses on heuristic evaluation and scenario based testing as useful analysis tools. It looks at the importance of identifying and responding to the unique resource requirements and information seeking behaviours of discipline-specific target audiences and uses engineers and IT professionals as one example. The results of usability investigations and our responses to customer demands are discussed and some conclusions for future development are drawn.

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