Journal article

Improving the Quality Control and Exploration of Digital Documents Using Visualization and Serendipity


  • 2022
Published in:
  • Journal of Information Architecture. - 2022, vol. 7, no. 2, p. 7-82
English This article contributes to the quality control of digitization workflows, and to the exploitation of historical document collections, by demonstrating the utility of serendipitous exploration (as opposed to targeted searches) through the use of Document Towers, a visual representation of the physical structure of documents as architectural models. The Document Towers are evaluated via a qualitative case study on historical Swiss newspapers, a thought experiment comparing them to alternative solutions, a diagrammatic visual and numeric assessment of exploratory tasks, and several quantitative and empirical usability measurements and psychometric surveys. The experiments confirmed that both serendipitous exploration and the Document Towers visualization are objectively well-suited for the quality control and exploration of digital documents. A significant disparity in subjective usability was ob- served between librarians and academics, who rated the visualization concept below and above average, respectively. Other findings included the redefinition of quality control as a tool of knowledge and dialogue among stakeholders in information systems; a generic diagrammatic instrument for evaluating the outcomes of explorations; demonstrating how the adoption of novel information technology may benefit from adaptation to individual psychologies and socio-professional contexts; and, unexpectedly, novel historical insights into Swiss map-making, newspaper history, and censorship.
Faculté des sciences et de médecine
Département d'Informatique
  • English
Computer science and technology
License undefined
Open access status
Persistent URL

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