Examining the Richness of Browsing in Digital Libraries & Netflix
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Type of Work66 leaves
DepartmentUniversity of Baltimore. Division of Science, Information Arts, and Technologies.
ProgramUniversity of Baltimore. Master of Science in Interaction Design and Information Architecture.
RightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
This item may be protected under Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. It is made available by the University of Baltimore for non-commercial research and educational purposes.
Search and browsing are essential to information retrieval in libraries. Digital library users will engage in these behaviors to find books they need in any digital library’s interface. Search is supported through the search bar, which is an incredibly powerful tool for any website that holds vast amounts of information. The operation of search engines and the usability of search interfaces have improved greatly over the last two decades. In contrast, the mechanisms and tools for online browsing have not been as well developed. This paper seeks to understand user browsing behaviors on digital libraries and whether their experience suffered if they could not use the searching tool. This research was based heavily around Dana McKay’s guidelines for digital browsing, and Marcia Bates’ browsing behaviors. Sixteen participants completed a survey regarding their reading habits and library usage. They then conducted user testing with several digital libraries and Netflix. Netflix was chosen because its users rely heavily on browsing to find content, and Netflix supports browsing quite successfully. The digital library tasks required users to browse for books that fit a certain criteria and books that they would personally read. The task for Netflix required participants to find something to watch that they had never seen before. The results suggest that although digital libraries still have room for improvement, the gap between their browsing experiences and websites like Netflix may not be as far as initially anticipated. This paper compares the strengths and benefits of each digital library to illuminate some best practices for current and future digital repositories.
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- Creative Commons