An empirical study of individual differences in digital library interfaces

Enrique Frias-Martinez, Sherry Y. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Individual differences play an important role in the way users develop different strategies for information seeking. Nevertheless, in general, the different information seeking environments do not consider these individual differences in their interface and functionalities. Previous studies have proven the importance of matching the interface with individual user preferences. Among the different environments for information seeking, digital Libraries are one of the most common ones. In this context, in order to provide an efficient service, it is essential to study how individual differences affect the interaction between users and the interface and functionalities provided by digital libraries. We present a study using Brunel Library catalogue as environment and according to three individual differences: (1) Cognitive Style, (2) Gender and (3) Level of Expertise. The results from this study provide the guidance to identify which areas of a digital library interface need to be improved and for which users.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1449-1458
Number of pages10
JournalWSEAS Transactions on Computers
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2005


  • Cognitive Styles
  • Digital Libraries
  • Individual Differences
  • User Satisfaction


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