The following article appears in the latest issue of Weave: Journal of Library User Experience.
Louisiana Sate University
LOUIS: the Louisiana Library Network
Volume 3, Issue 1, 2020
Over recent years, Louisiana State University (LSU) Libraries, like many others, has targeted collections spending to invest in e-books. We designed this study to better understand barriers to use and frustrations students encounter using e-books and to explore gaps in the field. While numerous studies have reported on usage analysis or survey results, few have employed usability testing to directly observe students interacting with e-books. This article reports on the findings of a series of usability tests conducted on four e-book platforms: SpringerLink, Project MUSE, Taylor & Francis, and JSTOR. We employed convenience sampling to recruit participants and a prompted think-aloud protocol to observe participants as they searched an e-book for information. The results revealed features that were helpful or sought by student users and those that created barriers in the user experience.
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