Evaluating Usability Assessment Methods for Web Based Cultural Heritage Applications

Bolchini, Davide and Di Blas, Nicoletta and Garzotto, Franca and Paolini, Paolo and Cantoni, Lorenzo and Rubegni, Elisa (2008) Evaluating Usability Assessment Methods for Web Based Cultural Heritage Applications. In: EPOCH conference proceedings Open Digital Cultural Heritage Systems Conference, 25.02.2008-26.02.2008, Rome, Italy.

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In spite of the variety of existing methods relatively for usability evaluation, a surprisingly limited amount of research has investigated their “quality” from a conceptual and empirical perspective Our work investigates the concept of quality for usability evaluation methods in the specific domain of web applications for cultural heritage. We define a conceptual framework for quality measurement based on attributes such as performance, efficiency, cost effectiveness, and learnability. An empirical study has been carried on to exemplify our methodological proposal, which measured the above factors for a usability inspection method called CH-MiLE, specifically devoted to the domain of cultural heritage web sites. The study involved a sample of 42 participants who used CH-MiLE to inspect a number of cultural heritage web sites under different experimental conditions. Our work is the result of a joint effort of HOC – Lab, Politecnico di Milano, and TEC-Lab, University of Lugano, carried on within Workpackage 4 of the Project EPOCH - European Research Network on Excellence in Processing Open Cultural Heritage.

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