{OCLC's WorldCat} Local versus {III's WebPAC:} Which interface is better at supporting common user tasks?

Title{OCLC's WorldCat} Local versus {III's WebPAC:} Which interface is better at supporting common user tasks?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsThomas, B, Buck, S
JournalLibrary Hi Tech
KeywordsCataloguing, United States of America, User interfaces, {BETA} (Computer program language), {CATALOGING}, {LIBRARIES}, {LIBRARY} user satisfaction, {METHODOLOGY}, {UNITED} States, {USER-centered} system design, {USER} interfaces (Computer systems), {WORLDCAT}
AbstractPurpose - This paper aims to describe the results of a usability test performed at Western Washington University to determine whether users were as successful performing common catalog-related tasks in {WorldCat} Local as they are in the library's current catalog, Innovative Interfaces' {WebPAC.} Design/methodology/approach - A usability team developed a test based on tasks commonly performed in the library catalog. They then tested 24 participants of varying levels of experience and asked each to perform 20 common catalog tasks in either the {WebPAC} interface currently in use or the {WorldCat} Local interface. The {WorldCat} Local interface was a test version which reflected Western Washington University's library holdings, in addition to the Orbis Cascade Alliance consortial holdings and all {WorldCat} holdings. Findings - While the results found that there were tasks in which participants were more successful in {WorldCat} Local than in the {WebPAC}, they also identified common tasks in which users were far less successful in {WorldCat} Local than in the {WebPAC.} Originality/value - {WorldCat} Local is one example of a new generation of discovery interfaces that is being considered by a number of academic institutions. This paper provides some insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the product. [{ABSTRACT} {FROM} {AUTHOR]} Copyright of Library Hi Tech is the property of Emerald Group Publishing Limited and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)