Advanced information tools using modern technologies that filter information to address
individual needs are not necessarily easy to develop or easy to use. This paper emphasises
the importance of both usability evaluation and information literacy, by looking at a case
study of an e-dictionary that was developed using modern technology to tailor information to
address only specific needs. The e-dictionary is a prototype developed based on modern lexicographical
theory and uses advanced search and display options. These options allow a user
to receive only information that is relevant to a specific situation. A heuristic evaluation and
usability tests were done on the e-dictionary. The findings showed that not all users found
the advanced search and display options easy to use.
This paper briefly discusses the usability evaluation done on the e-dictionary and argues that
if any e-tools are developed in a library, usability evaluation is paramount. Users and designers
do not necessarily share the same opinions and usability evaluation should be used to
improve a design.
In addition to usability evaluation, users should be educated on how to use advanced information
tools to their full potential. Information literacy training is already used to teach
users how to search in databases. However, dictionary literacy should be included and users
taught how to use dictionaries effectively. Such training can benefit users significantly, especially
if more advanced e-dictionaries are developed, that include tools through which users
can find exactly what they are looking for.