Discovery tools offer users a powerful way of searching library holdings, as well as external databases and indexes. They are becoming an increasingly common part of the library user experience, and research on the usability of such tools is expanding. In 2012, a mid-sized academic research library implemented Primo Discovery and Delivery by Ex Libris and conducted a diagnostic usability test to investigate how the tool is used without instruction, to discover patterns in searching behavior, and to uncover how compatible Primo is with user search behavior. This paper will describe the design and implementation of the usability study. Despite some design flaws, users adapt to the tool over time and can perform effective searches. This paper also provides recommendations for future usability studies in specific targeted areas where problems were detected.
usability; Web-scale discovery tool; user experience; testing; Primo; next generation catalogs; library 2.0
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an Article published in the Journal of Web Librarianship, May 2014, available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/19322909.2014.903133.
Nichols, Aaron; Billey, Amber; Spitzform, Peter; Stokes, Alice; and Mundy, Catherine, "Kicking the Tires: A Usability Study of the Primo Discovery Tool" (2014). University Libraries Faculty and Staff Publications. 29.