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Att finnas utan att synas : en studie av användbarhet i Nationell Arkivdatabas

Persson, Susanne LU (2016) ABMM34 20161
Division of ALM
Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences
Abstract (Swedish)
In this Master’s thesis I aim to examine the usability in the Swedish National Archival Database to find out the archivists’ view on the usability in the database and how this may affect record finding in their everyday work. The empirical data consists of interviews with five archivists from five different archival institutions.

NAD is a digital finding-aid for archival information. It is available free of charge online on the website of the Swedish National Archives. It contains information mostly on archives from state archives, such as the regional archives of Sweden, but also information from municipal- and private archives.
The theoretical perspective applied to the study is the theory of affordances. This theory argues that... (More)
In this Master’s thesis I aim to examine the usability in the Swedish National Archival Database to find out the archivists’ view on the usability in the database and how this may affect record finding in their everyday work. The empirical data consists of interviews with five archivists from five different archival institutions.

NAD is a digital finding-aid for archival information. It is available free of charge online on the website of the Swedish National Archives. It contains information mostly on archives from state archives, such as the regional archives of Sweden, but also information from municipal- and private archives.
The theoretical perspective applied to the study is the theory of affordances. This theory argues that certain objects have certain affordances; meaning that an object should be designed in such a way that it is clear to the user how to use it. The other central concept of this theory is constraints – that is, an object designed in a certain way not only affords certain actions, but also constrain others.

My conclusion is that archivists find that the usability in NAD is in some ways inadequate. The structure of the search results as they are displayed, are unclear to the user – it is not obvious at a first glance what kind of results one has been presented with. The search system is also very spelling sensitive – the slightest mistake in spelling prevents the user from finding the sought material. According to the empirical data the system also requires prior knowledge of how archival information is organized. This may not be a problem for the experienced user, such as archivists, but may well be a big problem for the inexperienced user. Overall the archivists are satisfied with the service provided in the Swedish National Archival Databas, yet at the same time none of them use the system as their main service for information retrieval. (Less)
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author
Persson, Susanne LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Existing without being seen : a study of the usability in the Swedish National Archival Database
course
ABMM34 20161
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
ALM, archival science, usability, affordance theory, Swedish National Archival Database, finding-aid display, information retrieval, ABM, arkivvetenskap, användbarhet, affordansteori, Nationell Arkivdatabas, arkivförteckning, informationssökning
language
Swedish
id
8876358
date added to LUP
2016-06-22 13:43:43
date last changed
2016-06-22 13:43:43
@misc{8876358,
  abstract     = {In this Master’s thesis I aim to examine the usability in the Swedish National Archival Database to find out the archivists’ view on the usability in the database and how this may affect record finding in their everyday work. The empirical data consists of interviews with five archivists from five different archival institutions.

NAD is a digital finding-aid for archival information. It is available free of charge online on the website of the Swedish National Archives. It contains information mostly on archives from state archives, such as the regional archives of Sweden, but also information from municipal- and private archives.
The theoretical perspective applied to the study is the theory of affordances. This theory argues that certain objects have certain affordances; meaning that an object should be designed in such a way that it is clear to the user how to use it. The other central concept of this theory is constraints – that is, an object designed in a certain way not only affords certain actions, but also constrain others.

My conclusion is that archivists find that the usability in NAD is in some ways inadequate. The structure of the search results as they are displayed, are unclear to the user – it is not obvious at a first glance what kind of results one has been presented with. The search system is also very spelling sensitive – the slightest mistake in spelling prevents the user from finding the sought material. According to the empirical data the system also requires prior knowledge of how archival information is organized. This may not be a problem for the experienced user, such as archivists, but may well be a big problem for the inexperienced user. Overall the archivists are satisfied with the service provided in the Swedish National Archival Databas, yet at the same time none of them use the system as their main service for information retrieval.},
  author       = {Persson, Susanne},
  keyword      = {ALM,archival science,usability,affordance theory,Swedish National Archival Database,finding-aid display,information retrieval,ABM,arkivvetenskap,användbarhet,affordansteori,Nationell Arkivdatabas,arkivförteckning,informationssökning},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Att finnas utan att synas : en studie av användbarhet i Nationell Arkivdatabas},
  year         = {2016},
}