Online Archive of California (OAC) Usability Testing
Behind the scenes, the Online Archive of California (OAC) is undergoing major improvements. First, a new home page is currently being designed to provide the OAC with its own unique identify. Second, Dynaweb the software package that first launched OAC when it was known as the UC-EAD project is being retired as the finding aid delivery system and replaced with DLXS (Digital Library eXtenstion Service) software.
Release of the new website (OAC version 1.0) is projected for July 2002. Usability Testing is at the heart of this transition to a new website and software package. The Usability Testing is a collaboration between the OAC Working Group, CDL Evaluation and Instruction Analyst Rosalie Lack, and CDL Web Design Manager Steve Toub. Liaisons at four campuses are leading the efforts using an instrumentation tool designed by Rosalie Lack. Building on experience gained in the CDL Usability Workshops in November 2001, Mary Elings and Michael Conkin at UC Berkeley, Nancy Kushigian and Daniel Goldstein at UC Davis, Bill Landis and Adrian Turner at UC Irvine and Brad Westbrook at UCSD are testing faculty, undergraduate and graduate students as well as archivists and librarians ability to navigate and search the new OAC software.
A series of five usability tests span the months of February – May 2002. Test results are then incorporated by Brian Tingle, Lead Programmer to improve the functionality of the website. Later this spring, the OAC website (still in development) will be previewed to the contributing OAC repositories for review and comment. We seek suggestions for improvement for the OAC Version 1.0 release and development priorities for OAC Version 2.0.