The study aims at highlighting the importance of information architecture and usability techniques in designing and improving universities library websites from the user's point of view. The researcher has chosen the American University in Cairo (AUC) library website as a case study. Meanwhile, 7 checklists that cover the Information architecture features were applied on the current AUC library website. This was done with an analytical perspective combined with suggesting recommendations to improve the status quo in the library website. While writing about usability, the researcher conducted three relevant research methods: using questionnaires, conducting focus group interviews, and applying formal usability tests.
The participants in the questionnaire were counted 209. They were chosen by personal relations. The participation was voluntary. Also, two focus group interviews were carried out; the first interview was with five of both undergraduate and graduate students, and the second was with four of the university employees. Twelve tasks were designed for the usability test with eight participants. The results of the test were analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively, and recommendations for the improvement of the AUC Library Web site were suggested.
The study found out that the users' satisfaction level of library website was high (about 83,2%), while having limitations in using the library WebPAC, and also having problems in the applied navigation mechanisms.
In conclusion, the study recommended conducting an analytical research to investigate the needs of the library website diverse users, as well as providing a full text search engine for the library website. The study has also made an emphasis on the importance of detaching library website navigation system from the university website navigation system; yet, keeping in mind continues improvement of the site via conducting further usability tests.
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