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The Plant Information Center Database Interface

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library.
  • Java
  • Database
  • Plants
  • Botany
  • Interface Usability


The Plant Information Center (PIC) database contains images of plant specimens and corresponding metadata and was designed to facilitate plant identification. While operational since Fall 2000, there has been little research on the overall design and the effectiveness of the interface. This investigation was an exploratory study that evaluated user perceptions of the PIC database with an emphasis on the interface. A test instrument containing questions and tasks was administered to sixteen undergraduate botany students from the University of North Carolina during the Spring 2001 semester. Responses to the questions were mainly positive. Eighty percent (80%) of the participants knew they were searching a database and ten of fifteen participants (66.6%) viewed the database in a positive manner. Although responses to the questions were supportive of the database, user comments suggest that improvements could be implemented to make the database, particularly the interface, more user friendly.

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