Lessons Learned: A Primo Usability Study

  • Kelsey Renee Brett University of Houston
  • Ashley Lierman University of Houston
  • Cherie Turner University of Houston

Abstract

The University of Houston Libraries implemented Primo as the primary search option on the library website in May 2014. In May 2015, the Libraries released a redesigned interface to improve user experience with the tool. The Libraries took a user-centered approach to redesigning the Primo interface by conducting a "think-aloud" usability test in order to gather user feedback and identify needed improvements. This article describes the methodology and findings from the usability study, the changes that were made to the Primo interface as a result, and implications for discovery system vendor relations and library instruction.

Author Biographies

Kelsey Renee Brett, University of Houston
Kelsey Brett is the Discovery Systems Librarian at the University of Houston Libraries.  She is responsible for the ongoing development of the Libraries' discovery system.  She is interested in providing seamless and user-frinedly discovery of and access to library resouces.
Ashley Lierman, University of Houston
Ashley Lierman is the Instructional Design Librarian at the University of Houston Libraries. Her primary responsibilities focus on expanding the Liaison Services department's information literacy instruction program into the online environment, in the form of online instructional modules and research guides. As a member of the Instruction Team, she works to contribute to the development and delivery of online and face-to-face instruction throughout the Libraries. She also liaises and collaborates with other instructional designers and e-learning experts across campus, and is a member of the Libraries' Discovery Usability Group.
Cherie Turner, University of Houston
Cherie Turner is the Chemical Sciences Librarian at the University of Houston Libraries. Through her liaison role she has worked on a broad range of projects including effective and active information literacy instruction to science students, outreach to non-faculty researchers, completing and using collections analysis to improve collections. Through membership in the Discovery Usability Group she has been a part of efforts to investigate usability of discovery systems.

References

Tamar Sadeh, “User Experience in the Library: A Case Study,” New Library World 109, no. 1/2 (2008): 7–24, doi:10.1108/03074800810845976.

Aaron Nichols et al., “Kicking the Tires: A Usability Study of the Primo Discovery Tool,” Journal of Web Librarianship 8, no. 2 (2014): 172–195, doi:10.1080/19322909.2014.903133; Scott Hanrath and Miloche Kottman, “Use and Usability of a Discovery Tool in an Academic Library,” Journal of Web Librarianship 9, no. 1 (2015): 1–21, doi:10.1080/19322909.2014.983259.

David J. Comeaux, “Usability Testing of a Web-Scale Discovery System at an Academic Library,” College & Undergraduate Libraries 19, no. 2–4 (2012): 189–206, doi:10.1080/10691316.2012.695671.

Kylie Jarrett, “FindIt@ Flinders: User Experiences of the Primo Discovery Search Solution.,” Australian Academic & Research Libraries 43, no. 4 (2012): 278–300; Nichols et al., "Kicking the Tires."

Sadeh, “User Experience in the Library.”

Jarrett, “FindIt@ Flinders”; Nichols et al., “Kicking the Tires.”

Xi Niu, Tao Zhang, and Hsin-liang Chen, "Study of User Search Activities with Two Discovery Tools at an Academic Library" (2014). Libraries Faculty and Staff Scholarship and Research. Paper 106. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10447318.2013.873281; Hanrath and Kottman, “Use and Usability of a Discovery Tool in an Academic Library.”

Rice Majors, “Comparative User Experiences of Next-Generation Catalogue Interfaces,” Library Trends 61, no. 1 (2012): 186–207, doi:10.1353/lib.2012.0029; Niu, Zhang, and Chen, "Study of User Search Activities with Two Discovery Tools at an Academic Library."

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Sadeh, “User Experience in the Library.”

Comeaux, “Usability Testing of a Web-Scale Discovery System at an Academic Library.”

Jessica Mahoney and Susan Leach-Murray, “Implementation of a Discovery Layer: The Franklin College Experience,” College & Undergraduate Libraries 19, no. 2–4 (2012): 327–343, doi:10.1080/10691316.2012.693435.

Joy Marie Perrin et al., “Usability Testing for Greater Impact : A Primo Case Study,” Information Technology and Libraries 33, no. 4 (2014): 57–67.

Majors, “Comparative User Experiences of Next-Generation Catalogue Interfaces”; Thomsett-Scott and Reese, “Academic Libraries and Discovery Tools.”

Jarrett, “FindIt@ Flinders”; Mahoney and Leach-Murray, “Implementation of a Discovery Layer.”

Ibid.; Nichols et al., “Kicking the Tires."

Ibid.; Perrin et al., “Usability Testing for Greater Impact : A Primo Case Study.”

Jarrett, “FindIt@ Flinders”; Nichols et al., “Kicking the Tires”; Hanrath and Kottman, “Use and Usability of a Discovery Tool in an Academic Library”; Majors, “Comparative User Experiences of Next-Generation Catalogue Interfaces.”

Comeaux, “Usability Testing of a Web-Scale Discovery System at an Academic Library”; Thomsett-Scott and Reese, “Academic Libraries and Discovery Tools.”

Jarrett, “FindIt@ Flinders.”

Mahoney and Leach-Murray, “Implementation of a Discovery Layer”; Perrin et al., “Usability Testing for Greater Impact : A Primo Case Study.”

Mahoney and Leach-Murray, “Implementation of a Discovery Layer”; Nichols et al., “Kicking the Tires”; Niu, Zhang, and Chen, "Study of User Search Activities with Two Discovery Tools at an Academic Library."

Thomsett-Scott and Reese, “Academic Libraries and Discovery Tools.”

Tao Zhang and Merlen Prommann, “Applying Hierarchical Task Analysis Method to Discovery Layer Evaluation,” Information Technology and Libraries 34, no. 1 (2015): 77–105.

David Nelson and Linda Turney, "What's in a Word? Rethinking Facet Headings in a Discovery Service," Information Technology and Libraries 34, no. 2 (2015): 76–91. doi:10.6017/ital.v34i2.5629.

Nichols et al., “Kicking the Tires,” 184.

Published
2016-04-01
How to Cite
Brett, K. R., Lierman, A., & Turner, C. (2016). Lessons Learned: A Primo Usability Study. Information Technology and Libraries, 35(1), 7-25. https://doi.org/10.6017/ital.v35i1.8965
Section
Articles