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Fiction Electronic Books: a Usability Study Chrysanthi Malama, Monica Landoni & Ruth Wilson University of Strathclyde, UK ECDL - 13 September 2004 Outline Background The Visual Book The WEB Book EBONI Fiction Ebooks: Aims Methodology Results Analysis & Conclusions The Visual Book

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fiction electronic books a usability study

Fiction Electronic Books: a Usability Study

Chrysanthi Malama, Monica Landoni

& Ruth Wilson

University of Strathclyde, UK

ECDL - 13 September 2004

outline
Outline
  • Background
    • The Visual Book
    • The WEB Book
    • EBONI
  • Fiction Ebooks:
    • Aims
    • Methodology
    • Results
    • Analysis & Conclusions
the visual book
The Visual Book
  • 1993-1997
  • Importance of appearance in the design of electronic textbooks
  • The paper book metaphor is well-understood
the web book
The WEB Book
  • What about books on the Web?
  • Applied Morkes and Nielsen’s general web design guidelines
  • Scannability found to be important for books on the Web
eboni
EBONI
  • Electronic Books ON-screen Interface
  • Evaluations of:
    • Web textbooks
    • Textbooks in proprietary formats (Adobe Reader, Microsoft Reader, Mobipocket Reader)
    • Electronic encyclopaedias
    • Portable electronic books
  • By: students & lecturers in UK Higher Education
  • Electronic textbook design guidelines:
    • http://ebooks.strath.ac.uk/eboni/guidelines
fiction ebooks aims
Fiction Ebooks: Aims
  • To study whether the presentation of a fiction book in electronic format that shares the EBONI project’s guidelines in terms of visual components (such as size, quality and design) increases satisfaction and usability.
  • To compare the results of this study with the results of the EBONI project which focused on the design of learning and teaching material on the Internet.
the fiction ebooks
The Fiction Ebooks
  • Same book in three formats
  • Freely available on the Internet
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventures of Gerard
    • Scrolling book
    • Adobe Reader (PDF)
    • Microsoft Reader
scrolling book
Scrolling Book
  • From Project Gutenberg
    • http://gutenberg.net/
  • Simple, scrolling book
  • Everything displayed on one long page
adobe reader
Adobe Reader
  • From Nalanda Digital Library (India)
    • http://www.nalanda.nitc.ac.in/
  • PDF format
    • Look of a physical book
    • Single page on screen at a time
  • Functionality
    • Bookmarks
    • Find
    • Zoom in/out
    • Thumbnails…
microsoft reader
Microsoft Reader
  • Virginia Digital Library
    • http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/ebooks/Plist.html
  • Greatest functionality:
    • Bookmarks
    • Find
    • Pan/zoom
    • Clear Type
    • “Riffle Control” for navigation
    • Alter font size
    • Annotations: notes, highlights, drawings
procedure
Procedure
  • 25 participants:
    • Lecturers and postgraduates in Computer & Information Sciences
    • Wider public
  • Conducted over the Internet:
    • Contacted by email
    • Online instructions
    • Online questionnaire
procedure15
Procedure
  • Pre-questionnaire
    • Age, gender, occupation
    • Previous experience of ebooks
  • Invited to read the three versions of the book in any order
  • Subjective satisfaction questionnaire
    • How easy to learn, read, navigate…
    • Comments
measures
Measures
  • Subjective satisfaction comprised:
    • Ease of use
      • “Compared to what you expected, how quickly did you learn to use the ebook?”
      • “Was the text easy to read?”
      • “Was the book easy to navigate?”
      • “How frustrated did you feel?”
    • Quality
      • Rate how “annoying”, “engaging”, “helpful” & “unpleasant” each version was
      • Rate functionalities in terms of helpfulness
comments scrolling ebook
Comments: Scrolling Ebook
  • Positive:
    • Easy to download
  • Negative:
    • User-unfriendly
    • Disliked scrolling
    • Boring font and layout
    • Difficult to navigate
comments adobe reader
Comments: Adobe Reader
  • Positive:
    • More “book-like”
    • Attractive, clear & colourful
    • Easy navigation
  • Negative:
    • Took time to download
    • Can’t underline
comments microsoft reader
Comments: Microsoft Reader
  • Positive:
    • “book-like”
    • Functionality
      • “I could not believe that you could draw… make notes and highlight”
  • Negative:
    • Download problems
    • Navigation icons
    • Software failure
analysis
Analysis
  • Importance of book metaphor, in particular:
    • Tables of contents
    • Pages
    • Navigation
    • Bookmarks
    • Highlight facility
  • And:
    • Customisation, e.g. font size
    • Search tools
    • Colour
conclusions
Conclusions
  • To provide practical and attractive ebooks, we need to understand user expectations
  • Focus on appearance as well as technology
  • Future work:
    • Analyse use in a library setting
    • Allow users to choose their own books
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