Undergraduate and postgraduate interactions and perceptions of an academic library’s discovery services

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Small, Loida Margaret
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MSc Information and Library Management
Dublin Business School
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Discovery services configured by Dublin Business School (DBS) library provide students with a one-stop gateway to access their catalogue and EBSCO’s Discovery Services (EDS). In order to assess the user experience they provide students, usability testing was conducted with 5 undergraduates and 5 postgraduates. Their interactions were observed as they completed three search tasks. Their task completion time, error count, and clicks were recorded, and a post-test survey (the System Usability Scale) revealed a quantifiable indication of their level of satisfaction. This assessment provides baseline data to assess the ISO usability attributes of efficiency, effectiveness and user satisfaction. All participants encountered similar errors and required assistance. Errors and their subsequent recommendations have been categorized under user education (tailored information literacy), local customization (to DBS homepage) and product enhancement (to EDS advanced search). Recommendations have implications for stakeholders of the services. Iterative testing is needed to determine if they lead to usability improvements.