Friday, December 09, 2005

Who should judge the quality of your digitization efforts?

In a previous post, I talked about Google's digitization quality and some of the problems that can be seen in the items digitized. If you've looked at Google Book Search, then you've perhaps seen the problems I mentioned and also noticed the link at the bottom of each page asking that you report any problems with the pages that are displayed. Does that mean that Google does not do quality control and expects the users to do it for them? (Or maybe that link is there just in case something doesn't display correctly?) Interesting questions...

So, who do you count on to judge the quality of your product? Is it:
  • Those that do the actual work?
  • A quality control team?
  • Usability testers?
  • Anyone who uses the product (digital library, digitized materials or whatever)?
Hopefully, you're using all of those resources. If you do, then the majority of the problems will be found before you users see your work. Sometimes it can be hard to catch every problem, so it is likely that users might find something, but they should not be the primary source for ensuring that you're producing good quality work.

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