After yesterday afternoon’s half-hour group presentation in class (LIS 531Y, Usability and User Experience Research) on our team’s usability study on the EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS), and last night’s condensed presentation on the same to the Usability Professionals Association (UPA) Boston Chapter, I am completely done with papers and presentations (and all other work) for my MLS degree. HURRAY!

Photos: one group member from each EBSCO team presented the results of the usability tests to the UPA Boston meeting on at Simmons College on December 12.

As it happens, a recent (December 7) Library Journal article included comparisons of four discovery services, the first of which was EDS. Amanda Clay Powers of the Mississippi State University Libraries observed that EDS worked especially well for undergraduates (novice) and for doctoral students and faculty (advanced), but less well for upper-level undergraduates and master’s students, who were still best served by subject-specific databases.

The research we did in Usability and User Experience Research this semester was focused less on content and more on usability and specific system features (such as the cite tool, the “find similar books” option, and the ability to save or share search results). Still, the LJ article was an interesting overview, especially as it compared multiple discovery interfaces.

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