Usability Evaluation of University Library Portals in Zambia

The Republic of Zambia has a total of 68 Higher Education Institutions (HEI’s) accredited with the Higher Education Authority (HEA) of Zambia. The increase in the number of HEIs has necessitated the need to comprehensively evaluate the usability of services offered via Library Portals. This paper outlines a study conducted to investigate and establish the relative usability of library portals associated with HEIs in Zambia. The specific objectives of the study were to establish the extent to which universities in Zambia have adopted library portals; to determine if key library portal features have been integrated into existing library portals in Zambia; and to determine the users’ perceived usability of library portals in HEIs. The study used a mixed-method design. Questionnaires were administered to all HEIs in Zambia to determine HEIs with functional library portals. A heuristic evaluation was carried out by 12 experts in to ascertain the library portal services and characteristics. The findings revealed that not all six characteristics or traits have been included in the adopted library portals. Finally, the System Usability Scale was used to determine the users' (20 Lecturers and 304 students) perceptions of the library portals. The findings revealed that only three (3) HEIs—ZCAS University (ZCAS), Mulungushi University (Mulungushi), and the University of Zambia (UNZA have adopted library portals. The computed average SUS scores were UNZA 51.26 (p=0.01), ZCAS 59.31 (p=0.8435) and Mulungushi 53.26 (p=0.01). The SUS scores from the three (3) HEIs suggest that the perceived usability for the HEIs falls under ‘Ok’, which according to the acceptability score is under the marginal area. The results of the study suggest that there is a need for the HEIs in Zambia to take a keen interest in the re-design of their Library Portals as this increases the provision of information and removes the distance barrier.
Year of Publication
Conference Name
4th African Human Computer Interaction Conference
Date Published
Conference Location
East London, South Africa
Conference Paper
Tembo, Dokowe, Akakandelwa Akakandelwa, and Lighton Phiri. 2023. “Usability Evaluation Of University Library Portals In Zambia”. In 4Th African Human Computer Interaction Conference. East London, South Africa.