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Re examining the- location_ of_ web objects-vasantharaju_and_harinarayana_2015 (1)

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The study re-examined the location of web objects of library websites. The location of the web objects such as “about us”, “my account” “help”, “search box/link”, “back to home link”, “OPAC” and “ask a librarian” have been re-examined to see whether there is any shift or change in the location of library web objects from the previous study done in 2011

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Re examining the- location_ of_ web objects-vasantharaju_and_harinarayana_2015 (1)

  1. 1. Re-Examining the Location of Web Objects: A Study of Library Websites Vasantha Raju N.1 and N.S. Harinarayanan2 1 Librarian, Government First Grade College, Periyapatna, Karnataka vasanthrz@gmail.com 2 Associate Professor, Department of Library & Information Science, University of Mysore, Mysore ns.harinarayana@gmail.com Abstract: The study re-examined the location of web objects of library websites. The location of the web objects such as “about us”, “my account” “help”, “search box/link”, “back to home link”, “OPAC” and “ask a librarian” have been re-examined to see whether there is any shift or change in the location of library web objects from the previous study done in 2011. The study found that there is no significant change in the placement of the location of library web objects. “About Us” which was often found at the top left side of the library websites in the 2011 study, has appeared often at the top right side of the library websites in the present study. The study help library web designer to develop user-cantered websites. Keywords: Library websites, Websites, Web objects, Usability studies, Web design, Web Usability, Academic libraries
  2. 2. 1. Introduction Library website is the library - Linden Website has now become a de-facto source of information of organization or institutions. Users across the globe irrespective of the geographical and temporal locations now have the ability to access the information they required through the web mainly the websites that organization or institution creates. Today almost 50% of the world population is using Internet for accessing information1 . The availability of digital information is exponentially increasing day by day. The access to information is now largely done through the web. Libraries which are time immemorial providing access to information has now allow their users to access information beyond four walls. Library websites have become key access point to access e-resources such as e-journals, e-books, online databases and other scholarly information resources (Liu, 2008). Libraries as a purveyor of knowledge ventured early into the field of World Wide Web for delivering information services using contemporary web technologies. The traditional information organizations techniques and information retrieval tools have influenced in great deal in designing user-centered web interfaces (Roesenfield & Morville, 2002). Earlier research on developing user-centered design has found that visual appeal and design look of the websites attract revisits to websites (Fogg, Murable, Stanford, & Tauber, 2002). In this regard it has become very much important to develop websites which are visually appealing and consistent with its design and look. Based on the previous studies on user’s mental models and expected locations of web objects (Bernard & Sheshadri, 2004, Beranrd, 2000 & 2002 & Shaikh & Lenz, 2006,), in 2011 we took up a study to examine the location of certain web objects of library websites of world top universities (Vasantha Raju & Harinarayana, 2011). The study identified the locations of web objects such as “about us”, “my account” “help”, “search box/link”, “back to home link”, “OPAC” and “ask a librarian”. The study established that there was pattern in placing the certain web objects of library websites of world top universities in certain locations. “About Us” web object was found at the top right corner of the library websites, “my account” web object was often found at the right 1 http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm
  3. 3. side of the library websites. Search box located in majority of the library websites at the top right corner and OPAC web object was placed at the middle of the websites (Vasantha Raju & Harinarayana, 2011). In the present study, in keeping view the technological advancement (mainly web development technologies2 ) and the users increasing dependency on Internet for identifying and accessing information, we looked at: is there any change in the placement of the location of web objects of library websites since 2011 or located in a similar locations as found in 2011? 2. Methodology The study used the similar methodology that has been used in 2009 for collecting the data for the present study (Vasantha Raju & Harinarayana, 2011). The researchers revisited the top 75 world university library websites3 (see Appendix 1) during May 2nd and 3rd of 2015 to collect the data for re-examining the location of the library web objects. The data was recorded in a data coding sheet consisting of 5 X 5 horizontal and vertical grids (see Appendix-2). The study re-examining the location of the following library web objects: about us, my account, help, search link/box, back to home link, OPAC, and ask a librarian (see Table 1 for the operational definition of library web objects) to see whether these library web objects located in a similar location as found in 2011 or is there any difference or change in placing the location of library web objects in 2015? SL. No. Web objects Descriptions 1. about us About us feature usually provide information regarding respective organizations. A kind of a self-introduction. 2. my account/user account My account is an online book checking inquiry system. User instead of visiting physical library, he can check his book issue status online. 3. Help Instructions or advice on how to use a specific type of service/resources offline and online. 4. search link/box Help users to search library web sites for certain information or resources. At times allow to search world wide web. 5. Back to home link Links to home page from secondary level pages from web site. User can jump easily from secondary level pages to homepage while navigating the websites. 6. OPAC A database comprising of bibliographic records describing the books and other materials owned/subscribed by the 2 CSS3, HTML5, JAVA, JavaBeans, ASP and SQL have given designers incredibly sophisticated capabilities to develop and design aesthetically rich user-centered websites. 3 Times Higher Education world university ranking list was used for identifying the top world university library websites.
  4. 4. library, accessible via public terminals. 7. ask a librarian An online reference service wherein user get answer for his queries via e-mail, phone, IM or online form. Table 1: Operational Definitions of Library Web Objects The darker the shade of the blue, the greater the number of times that the particular web object was found in the particular location. Frequencies were calculated for each web objects presented in the 25 grid squares (Figure 1). The percentages are represented by increasingly darker shades of blue (white is <1% and dark blue is >33%). <1% 1-2 3-4 5-8 9-16 17-24 25-32 33>% Figure 1: Each Grid (color) represents the Frequency of Web Object Found in Particular Locations in the Library Web Sites
  5. 5. 3. Results of the Study . The study re-examined the placement of the location of web objects of library websites such as “about us”, “my account”, “search link/box”, “back to home link”, “help”, “OPAC” and “ask a librarian”. The study looked into the changing pattern of location of library web object as compared to 2011 to 2015. The result of has been discussed extensively in the succeeding section. 3.1. About Us “About Us” features provides basic introductory information about an institution or organization, in this case about libraries. In the previous study conducted in 2011 it was found that almost 30.00% (15.71% and 11.42%) of the library web sites have placed “about us” link at the upper left side of the web sites. Another 15.71% of the library websites have placed “about us” link at the upper right side. Compared to 2011 study there is a shift in placing “about us” link in library websites in 2015 (see Figure 2). In the present study, it was found that 50.00% of the library websites have placed “about us” link at the upper right side. Figure 2: Locations of About Us in Library Web Sites 8.57% 8.57% 15.71% 15.71% 11.42% 5.71% 5.56% 8.33% 8.33% 16.67% 8.33% 8.33% 8.33% 5.56% 8.33% 5.56% (Result of 2015 Study)(Result of 2011 Study)
  6. 6. 3.2. My Account As shown in Figure 3 in the previous study my account web object was found at the extreme right side of the library websites and also at the top right of the library websites. In the present study as well my account web object is found most frequently (47.27%) at the top right of the library websites. There is no drastic change in placing the “my account” web object compared to previous and present study. User behaviour studies have also found that web users also expects that log-in web object should be located at the top right of the websites (Baharum & Jaafar, 2014). There is no change in the term used to denote this web objects as such in the present study. Similar to the previous study majority of the library websites have used the term “my account” (36.36%), “your library account”, “your library records”, “your account” (10.90%), and “my log- in,” “my library records” to name this features in their respective library websites. Figure 3: Locations of My Account Function 11.11% 7.40% 7.40% 7.40% 5.55% 16.66% 12.96% 5.45% 25.45% 21.82% 5.45% 7.27% 9.09% 5.45% 5.45% (Result of 2011 Study) (Result of 2015 Study)
  7. 7. 3.3. Search Link/Box Figure 4 depicts the location of search link/box as found in library websites. Providing access to information is one of the key aspects of libraries. Libraries must allow its users to access all the information that it possess to a maximum extent. This can be done through providing search options in library websites. Search link/box help users to identify and retrieve information easily without navigating entire site. The result (66.67% of the library websites have placed “search box” at the top right corner of the web sites) of the present study (2015) is similar to that of previous study (2011). As shown in Figure 4, in both the study it was found that “search link/box” was often located at the top right corner of the library websites. It was found in previous research that web users also expected that search link/box should be located at the top corner of the websites (Shaikh & Lenz, 2006; Baharum & Jaafar, 2014). 8.22% 45.21% 5.48% 6.85% 6.85% 5.48% Figure 4: Location of Search Link/Box 5.56% 66.67% 5.56% (Result of 2011 Study) (Result of 2015 Study)
  8. 8. 3.4. Back to Home Link Website is collection of web pages. Users tend to jump or navigate from pages to pages in order to identify information. It is suggested in web usability studies that web designer must allow users to from secondary level pages to home page of the websites. As shown in Figure 5, in the previous study (2011) it was found that almost 53.00% of the library websites have placed “back to home link” at the top left corner of the library websites. The data collected in 2015 is also very much align with the previous study result. Almost 60.00% of the library websites have placed “back to home link” at the top left corner of the websites in the present study. Adkisson (2002) in her study found that almost all the e-commerce websites have placed the “back to home link” web objects at the top left corner of the websites. Bernard (2001) in his study found that web users also expects “back to home link” to be appeared at the top left corner of the websites. This is in line with the Adkisson (2002) and Bernard’s (2001) study on e-commerce websites 52.78% 12.50% 9.72% 6.94% 9.72% Figure 5: Locations of Back to Home Link 59.09% 22.73% (Result of 2011 Study) (Result of 2015 Study)
  9. 9. 3.5. Help In the 2011 study it was found that “help” web object in library websites scattered across. However most of the library websites have placed this objects at the upper top right of the library and left side of the library websites (see Figure 6). But there is a slight change from previous study (2011) to present study (2015) that most of the library websites in the present study have placed “help” web objects at the top right corner of the library websites compared to previous study. This result is similar to that of previous study ( Bernard & Sheshadri, 2004) on e- commerce websites that majority of the participants expects “help” option to be located at the top right corner of the websites. 14.00% 6.00% 5.56% 6.00% 12.00% 12.00% 6.00% 6.00% 6.00% Figure 6: Locations of Help Function 5.56% 8.33% 8.33% 16.67% 8.33% 8.33% 8.33% 5.56% 8.33% 5.56% (Result of 2011 Study) (Result of 2015 Study)
  10. 10. 3.6. OPAC (Online Public Access Catalogue) Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) allows users to search and retrieve library materials. This is one of the important sources of information for users to explore library resources. The Figure 7 depicts the location of “OPAC” web objects in library websites. More or less there is similarity to 2011 results and 2015 results of the location of OPAC in Library websites. In both the studies (2011 and 2015) OPAC has been placed in the similar position that is left side of the library websites and middle of the library websites. Library users depend on OPAC for searching library materials thus it has been placed in the middle of the library websites. “Search” and its variant “search all” and “search everything” are the most often used terms to label this web objects in library websites. Some of the library websites have used the term such as “CATALYST”, “Stella Search” “OskiCat” “ScoUT” “SAULCAT” and Limo Search” which leads to a confusion at the user end. Kupersmith (2012) who has done extensive research on library term that users understands suggests for using natural language equivalents such as “Find book” or “Find articles” along with the term library catalog to make technical term simpler. Figure 7: Locations of Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) 5.48% 16.44% 17.81% 12.33% 5.48% 6.85% 13.70% 5.48% 13.70% 19.18% 16.44% 9.59% 9.59% 17.81% (Result of 2011 Study) (Result of 2015 Study)
  11. 11. 3.7. Ask a Librarian As shown in Figure 8 “Ask a Librarian” web object is scattered across the library websites in 2011 study and also in the present study (20015) as well. However in both the previous and present study most of the library websites have placed “ask a librarian” web objects at the right side of the library websites. In 2015 study specifically it is found that almost 20.00% of the library websites have placed “ask a librarian” at the top right corner of the library websites. Half of the library websites (50.00%) have used the term “ask a librarian” to label this web objects in their library websites. 14.28% 5.53% 10.71% 8.92% 5.53% 5.53% 7.14% 8.92% 5.53% 5.53% Figure 8: Locations of Ask a Librarian Function 4. Discussion and Conclusion The study re-examined the location of library web objects to see whether any change in the location library objects since 2011 when the first data was collected. The present study found that “my account” library web object has often located at the top right side of the websites. This result is in concur with the previous study done in 2011. The location of the search box/link has not been changed since 2011. Compared to 2011 study (45.21% of the library websites placed search box at the top right corner of websites) more library websites (66.67%) have placed the search box at the top right corner. The location of the “back to home link” also remained same since 2011 and so has “OPAC”. 5.56% 14.81% 18.52% 11.11% 7.41% 9.26% 5.56% 9.26% (Result of 2011 Study) (Result of 2015 Study)
  12. 12. The location of “about us” web object of library websites has changed since 2011. The present study found that “about us” web object is located in many of library websites at the top right side, in 2011 it was often located at the top left side of the website. “Ask a librarian” web object also slightly moved towards top right corner of the library websites, earlier in 2011 it was found scattered across websites though mainly concentrated on the right side. The location of “help” web object was also slightly differed from 2011 study to present study. Most of the library websites in the present study have placed “help” web objects at the top right corner of the library websites unlike previous where it was often found at the upper top right and left side of the website. In a nutshell it can be put it that there is no significant shift in placement of the location of library web objects since 2011, most of the library web objects have placed in the similar locations as found in the earlier study. This shows that web design studies or usability studies look into other websites to study the design look. Thus, this has brought a kind of standardization in designing websites. This study helps especially developing countries like India to follow the same foot step in designing (library) websites so as to facilitate users to navigate and find information easily. It is interesting to also look into the location of library web objects of Indian universities in the future studies to see is there a similar pattern across the globe?
  13. 13. References Adkisson, H. (2002). Identifying de-facto standards for e-commerce web sites (Unpublished master’s thesis). University of Washington, Washington: US Baharum, A., & Jaafar, A. (2014). Generation Y expectations for the location of web objects. International Journal of Digital Content Technology and Its Application (JDCTA), 2. Retrieved from http://www.aicit.org/JDCTA/ppl/JDCTA3644PPL.pdf Bernard, M., & Sheshadri, A. (2004). . Usability News, 6(2). Retrieved from http://www.surl.org/usabilitynews/62/web_object_international.asp Bernard, M. L. (2000). Examining user expectations of the location of web objects. Internetworking, 3(3). Retrieved from http://www.internettg.org/dec00/article_bernard.html Bernard, M. (2002). Examining user expectations for the location of common e-commerce web objects. Usability News, 4(1). Retrieved from http://www.surl.org/usabilitynews/41/web_object-ecom.asp Fogg, B.J., Marable, L., Stanford, J., & Tauber, E.R. (2002). How do people evaluate a web site’s credibility? Result from a large study. Retrieved from http://www.consumerwebwatch.org/pdfs/stanfordPTL.pdf. Kupersmith, J. (2012). Library terms that users understand. Retrieved May 4, 2015, from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/3qq499w7 Liu, S. (2008). Engaging users: The future of academic library web sites. College & Research Libraries, 69(1), 6-27. Rosenfield, L. & Morville, P. (2002). Information architecture for the world wide web (2nd ed.). Beijing: O’Reilly. Shaikh, A. D., & Lenz, K. (2006). Where's the search? Re-examining user expectations of web objects, Usability News, 8(1). Retrieved May 2, 2015, from http://www.surl.org/usabilitynews/81/webobjects.asp Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings. (2015). Retrieved May 2, 2015 ,from http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk Vasantha Raju N., & Harinarayana N.S. (2011, March). Identifying the location of web objects: A study of library websites. Paper presented at the 8th International CALIBER on Towards Building a Knowledge Society: Library as Catalyst for Knowledge Discovery and Management, Goa, India. Full text retrieved from http://ir.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/1944/1597/1/4.pdf
  14. 14. Appendix 1 List of World Top University Library Web Sites Considered for the Study SL. No. 2008-09 University Ranking 2014-15 University Ranking Name of the University Library Web URLs* Country 1. 1 2 Harvard University http://library.harvard.edu/ US 2. 2 9 Yale University http://web.library.yale.edu/ US 3. 3 5 University of Cambridge http://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/ UK 4. 4 3 University of Oxford http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/ UK 5. 5 1 California Institute of Technology http://library.caltech.edu/ US 6. 6 9= Imperial College London http://www.imperial.ac.uk/admin- services/library/ UK 7. 7 9= University College London http://www.ucl.ac.uk/library/ UK 8. 8 11 University of Chicago http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/index.html US 9. 9 6 Massachusetts Institute of Technology http://libraries.mit.edu/ US 10. 10 14 Columbia University http://library.columbia.edu/ US 11. 11 16 University of Pennsylvania http://www.library.upenn.edu/ US 12. 12 7 Princeton University http://library.princeton.edu/ US 13. 13= 18 Duke University http://library.duke.edu/ US 14. 13= 15 Johns Hopkins University http://www.library.jhu.edu/# US 15. 15 19 Cornell University https://www.library.cornell.edu/about US 16. 16 45 Australian National University http://anulib.anu.edu.au/ Australia 17. 17 4 Stanford University http://library.stanford.edu/ US 18. 18 17 University of Michigan http://www.lib.umich.edu/ US 19. 19 23 University of Tokyo http://www.lib.u-tokyo.ac.jp/index-e.html Japan 20. 20 39 McGill University http://www.mcgill.ca/library/ Canada 21. 21 24 Carnegie Mellon University http://www.library.cmu.edu/ US 22. 22 40 King's College London http://www.kcl.ac.uk/library/index.aspx UK 23. 23 36 University of Edinburgh http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools- departments/information-services UK 24. 24 13 ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) http://www.library.ethz.ch/en/ Switzerland 25. 26 43 University of Hong Kong http://lib.hku.hk/ Hong Kong 26. 27 54 Brown University http://library.brown.edu/ US 27. 29 52 University of Manchester http://www.library.manchester.ac.uk/ UK 28. 30= 12 University of California, Los Angeles http://www.library.ucla.edu/ US 29. 30= 25 National University of Singapore http://www.lib.nus.edu.sg/ Singapore 30. 32 74 University of Bristol http://www.bristol.ac.uk/library/ UK 31. 33 21 Northwestern University http://www.library.northwestern.edu/ US 32. 34 32 University of British Columbia http://www.library.ubc.ca/ Canada 33. 35 8 University of California, Berkeley http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/ US 34. 36 60 University of Sydney http://www.library.usyd.edu.au/ Australia 35. 37 33 University of Melbourne http://library.unimelb.edu.au/ Australia 36. 38 51 Hong Kong University of Science and Technology http://library.ust.hk/ Hong Kong 37. 39 38 New York University http://library.nyu.edu/ US 38. 40 20 University of Toronto http://onesearch.library.utoronto.ca/ Canada 39. 41 129 Chinese University of Hong Kong http://www.lib.cuhk.edu.hk/ Hong Kong 40. 42 65 University of Queensland https://www.library.uq.edu.au/ Australia 41. 44 109 University of New South Wales https://library.unsw.edu.au/ Australia 42. 45 57 Boston University http://www.bu.edu/library/ US 43. 46 83 Monash University http://monash.edu/library/ Australia 44. 47 160 University of Copenhagen http://culis.ku.dk/ Denmark 45. 48 138 Trinity College Dublin https://www.tcd.ie/Library/ Ireland
  15. 15. 46. 49 50 Seoul National University http://library.snu.ac.kr/eng/ South Korea 47. 53 77 University of Amsterdam http://uba.uva.nl/en/ Netherlands 48. 54 152 Dartmouth College http://library.dartmouth.edu/ US 49. 55 29 University of Wisconsin-Madison http://www.library.wisc.edu/ US 50. 56 49 Tsinghua University http://eng.lib.tsinghua.edu.cn/default.html China 51. 57 70 Heidelberg University http://www.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/Englisch/ Germany 52. 58 41 University of California, San Diego http://libraries.ucsd.edu/ US 53. 59 26 University of Washington http://www.lib.washington.edu/ US 54. 60 42 Washington University in St Louis http://library.wustl.edu/about/olinlibrary.ht ml US 55. 62 93 Emory University http://web.library.emory.edu/ US 56. 63 98 Uppsala University http://ub.uu.se/?languageId=1 Sweden 57. 64 64 Leiden University http://www.library.leiden.edu/ Netherlands 58. 65 175 University of Auckland http://www.library.auckland.ac.nz/ New Zealand 59. 66 34 London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/home.aspx UK 60. 67 79 Utrecht University http://www.uu.nl/en/university-library Netherlands 61. 69 103 University of Warwick http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/ UK 62. 70 28 University of Texas at Austin http://www.lib.utexas.edu/ US 63. 71 29 University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign http://www.library.illinois.edu/ US 64. 72 55 Katholieke Universiteit Leuven http://bib.kuleuven.be/english/ Belgium 65. 73 94 University of Glasgow http://www.gla.ac.uk/services/library/ UK 66. 74 124 University of Alberta http://www.library.ualberta.ca/ Canada 67. 75 148 University of Birmingham http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/libraries/inde x.aspx UK 68. 76 121 University of Sheffield http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/library UK 69. 77 61 Nanyang Technological University http://www.ntu.edu.sg/library/Pages/defaul t.aspx Singapore 70. 78= 71 Delft University of Technology http://www.library.tudelft.nl/en/ Netherlands 71. 78= 69 Rice University http://library.rice.edu/ US 72. 81 113 University of York http://www.york.ac.uk/library/ UK 73. 83= 27 Georgia Institute of Technology http://www.library.gatech.edu/ US 74. 83= 111 University of St Andrews http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/library/ UK 75. 83= 157 University of Western Australia http://www.library.uwa.edu.au/ Australia Source: Times Higher Education 2008-09 and 2014-15 World Top University Rankings (http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk) * Library Web URLs have been updated in 2015 to keep as current as possible
  16. 16. Appendix 2 5 x 5 Horizontal and Vertical Grid Data Coding Sheet Data coding sheet Name of the Library: ____________________________ URL: ____________________________ Name of the University: ____________________________ Country: ____________________________ Date of data collection: ____________________________ Time: ____________________________ Schematic presentation of the web page in 5 X 5 grids Web objects: 1. About us 2. My account 3. Help 4. Search box 5. Link to home page 6. OPAC (online catalogue) 7. Ask a librarian Notes:

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