usability testing for archival descriptions

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kjam...@ualberta.ca

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Nov 21, 2016, 4:03:17 PM11/21/16
to AtoM Users
Not sure if this question is really out of left field, but I'm wondering if anyone has done any usability testing on how users interact with things like level of description as a facet and understanding what those terms (i.e. archival description practices and standards) mean. 

I found a few good threads about UI usability testing here and here but it doesn't quite get at what we're wondering about. 

Thanks!

Dan Gillean

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Nov 21, 2016, 4:25:45 PM11/21/16
to ICA-AtoM Users
Hi Krista,

One more post here on usability tests done by Borthwick - more recent: https://groups.google.com/d/msg/ica-atom-users/DjWdY8YFxxE/uoIZ1MfhBAAJ

I'd love to hear more from other users, but I think you've found links to all of the usability tests we know of. One of the challenges is that this is the language of the archival profession, not of AtoM in particular. Note of course that all terms in taxonomies (like the levels of description), as well as many of the user interface labels, menu nodes, and other elements are directly editable via the user interface - so if you'd like to try out using language that is more easily understood by your researchers and end users, you should be able to do this without development.

Note that other users are using the static pages to prepare FAQs and help pages - this is one way to offset some of the confusion. Some examples:

Cheers,


Dan Gillean, MAS, MLIS
AtoM Program Manager
Artefactual Systems, Inc.
604-527-2056
@accesstomemory

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kjam...@ualberta.ca

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Nov 21, 2016, 4:35:11 PM11/21/16
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Thanks for the additional link! I must have missed that one. 

Yes, absolutely it is an issue of language within the profession. AtoM is, for us, the first time users will be able to access large quantities of our finding aids without reference archivist intervention (and our first searchable database for users) so its a bit new to us for people to be navigating without any archival knowledge. We have edited the taxonomies a bit to reflect our legacy materials but haven't ventured into doing much more than that. 

Thanks for the FAQ page example! We've been thinking that is probably going to be a thing we'll need as well. 

If we do end up doing usability testing we will be sure to share it back with the group.


On Monday, November 21, 2016 at 2:25:45 PM UTC-7, Dan Gillean wrote:
Hi Krista,

One more post here on usability tests done by Borthwick - more recent: https://groups.google.com/d/msg/ica-atom-users/DjWdY8YFxxE/uoIZ1MfhBAAJ

I'd love to hear more from other users, but I think you've found links to all of the usability tests we know of. One of the challenges is that this is the language of the archival profession, not of AtoM in particular. Note of course that all terms in taxonomies (like the levels of description), as well as many of the user interface labels, menu nodes, and other elements are directly editable via the user interface - so if you'd like to try out using language that is more easily understood by your researchers and end users, you should be able to do this without development.

Note that other users are using the static pages to prepare FAQs and help pages - this is one way to offset some of the confusion. Some examples:

Cheers,


Dan Gillean, MAS, MLIS
AtoM Program Manager
Artefactual Systems, Inc.
604-527-2056
@accesstomemory

On Mon, Nov 21, 2016 at 4:03 PM, <kjam...@ualberta.ca> wrote:
Not sure if this question is really out of left field, but I'm wondering if anyone has done any usability testing on how users interact with things like level of description as a facet and understanding what those terms (i.e. archival description practices and standards) mean. 

I found a few good threads about UI usability testing here and here but it doesn't quite get at what we're wondering about. 

Thanks!

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