9º World Congress on Health Information and Libraries

Salvador, Bahia - Brazil, September, 20 to 23 - 2005


4th Regional Coordination Meeting of the VHL

September, 19 to 20 - 2005

The use of Web standards based on user’s experience: application on the Virtual Health Library Regional Site


This paper describes the experience in the development of the Virtual Health Library (VHL) Regional Site redesign project, using Bastien and Scapin  heuristic analysis as a theoretical basis to assess the human-computer interfaces.  The eight ergonomic criteria identified were used as a tool to assess the Site usability, and their guidelines were adapted to meet the profile and needs of intermediate and end-users. The aim of the project is to make the VHL Regional Site compatible with Web standards through actions including: the use of a valid code, semantically correct markings, codes that can be accessed both by humans and machines, the separation of content and presentation (tableless), among other aspects. One of the first steps to redesign the site includes the migration of the current content to the product developed by BIREME called VHL-Site, which is based on current Web-technology standards. Data migration allowed the recognition that the management product is limited and has few specific elem ents and sections, which reduces the possibility of model expansion, although it may enable a greater autonomy in terms of content management. The second phase of the project aims at providing more autonomy to intermediate users in the management of sites using the VHL Model. It also aims at optimizing the periodic updating of the page in order to contribute to strengthen the operation capacity of health information products and services that efficiently meet scientific and technical information demands in the area.
Upon its conclusion, this project will enable information producers and intermediaries to operate access interfaces to VHL information sources, without the need of any previous knowledge of the system’s technological structure, providing intermediate and end-users with a more coherent and consistent browsing system, as well as with more interaction control and a greater satisfaction of users. The technological effort geared to this project represents a significant increase in the quality o f the VHL model, as it includes a review of VHL’s design, functionalities and architecture, thus consolidating itself as the ideal solution for developing countries as regards the management and sharing of health information and knowledge.

Bastien, J.M.C., Scapin, D. (1993) Ergonomic Criteria for the Evaluation of Human-Computer interfaces. Institut National de recherche en informatique et en automatique, France