The JISC UX2.0 project has released Usability Inspection of Digital Libraries.
Here's an excerpt:
The JISC funded project, UX2.0 aims to contribute to this general body of works by enhancing a digital library through a development and evaluation framework centered on usability and contemporary user experience. User-centred design (UCD) forms the overall approach of UX2.0. Technological developments will be implemented in tandem with research, usability studies and evaluation.
This report relates to an UX2.0 objective to undertake usability inspection. It presents the findings of a general usability inspection (work package 2—WP2.1) done through heuristics evaluation on a selection of digital libraries. . . .
The report will detail the heuristic methodology chosen to conduct the report, followed by an introduction to the design patterns identified in Section 3 and 4 respectively. Following this the results of usability inspection are presented in three sections; resource discovery (Section 5), navigation (Section 6) and enhancing user experience (Section 7). Resource discovery deals with the search and browse aspects of each digital library, referencing the design patterns used where appropriate. Navigation discusses specific types of navigation including faceted navigation and pagination. It also inspects the orientation through the DL and how the labeling helps or hinders user expectations. Finally the third part of the results (enhancing user experience) discusses the provision of value-added services of the DLs. Each the results section includes a discussion. The overall conclusions of the inspection in general are given in Section 8.