Skip navigation

A user-centred evaluation framework for the Sealife semantic web browsers

A user-centred evaluation framework for the Sealife semantic web browsers

Oliver, Helen, Diallo, Gayo, de Quincey, Ed, Alexopoulou, Dimitra, Habermann, Bianca, Kostkova, Patty, Schroeder, Michael, Jupp, Simon, Khelif, Khaled, Stevens, Robert, Jawaheer, Gawesh and Madle, Gemma (2009) A user-centred evaluation framework for the Sealife semantic web browsers. BMC Bioinformatics, 10 (Supp10):S14. ISSN 1471-2105 (doi:

(5559_DE_QUINCEY_2009).pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB)


BACKGROUND: Semantically-enriched browsing has enhanced the browsing experience by providing contextualized dynamically generated Web content, and quicker access to searched-for information. However, adoption of Semantic Web technologies is limited and user perception from the non-IT domain sceptical. Furthermore, little attention has been given to evaluating semantic browsers with real users to demonstrate the enhancements and obtain valuable feedback. The Sealife project investigates semantic browsing and its application to the life science domain. Sealife's main objective is to develop the notion of context-based information integration by extending three existing Semantic Web browsers (SWBs) to link the existing Web to the eScience infrastructure.

METHODS: This paper describes a user-centred evaluation framework that was developed to evaluate the Sealife SWBs that elicited feedback on users' perceptions on ease of use and information findability. Three sources of data: i) web server logs; ii) user questionnaires; and iii) semi-structured interviews were analysed and comparisons made between each browser and a control system.

RESULTS: It was found that the evaluation framework used successfully elicited users' perceptions of the three distinct SWBs. The results indicate that the browser with the most mature and polished interface was rated higher for usability, and semantic links were used by the users of all three browsers.

CONCLUSION: Confirmation or contradiction of our original hypotheses with relation to SWBs is detailed along with observations of implementation issues.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] First published: 01 October 2009. [2] Published as: BMC Bioinformatics, (2009), 10 (Suppl 10), S14. [3] The citation for the article is BMC Bioinformatics 2009, 10(Suppl 10):S14. [4] This article is part of the supplement: Semantic Web Applications and Tools for Life Sciences, 2008. Eight of the author named above (not including Ed De Quincey) presented "A User-Centered Evaluation Framework for the SeaLife Semantic Web Browsers" at the Workshop on Semantic Web Applications and Tools for Life Sciences (SWAT4LS 2008) held in Edinburgh, United Kingdom on November 28, 2008. [5] This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sealife of SWBs, semantic web browsers, browser usability
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2016 01:52

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics