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This paper is published in the journal the International Journal of Information Management (IJIM)

2015-Pérez-Montoro_and_Nualart–Visual_Articulation_of_Navigation_and_Search_Systems_for_Digital_Libraries

Screenshot of Area interface

Screenshot of Area interface

Mario Pérez­-Montoro
(University of Barcelona)
Jaume Nualart
(University of Canberra)

ABSTRACT Journal and digital library portals are the information systems that researchers turn to most frequently for undertaking and disseminating their academic work. However, unlike other information systems, such as e­commerce websites, their interfaces have not been improved on the basis of the findings provided by user studies, nor have the advances developed in specific disciplines, such as information architecture, or those derived more generally from User Experience (UX), been applied to them. In an attempt at overcoming these limitations, from the late eighties onward, a series of prototypes have been developed that seek to improve the visualization of results from journal and digital library portals. Yet, these prototypes and advances in visualization have not been widely adopted for both practical and methodological reasons. To overcome these limitations, new solutions and low­cost tools that can be readily implemented, and which can improve user­experience and user­satisfaction with these information systems, need to be identified. One possible alternative is the articulation of the navigation and search systems in a single visual solution that would allow the simultaneous exploration and interrogation of the information system. ​ Area is a new, low­cost visualization tool that is easy to implement, and which can be used with large collections of documents. Moreover, it has a short learning curve that articulates the two systems using a two­dimensional structure which enhances both user­experience and user­satisfaction with journal and digital library websites.