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Altmetric in Primo UX Study

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In March 2016, the UX team conducted research with students to understand the value of including an AltMetric badge to the search results on the library’s website.

Research Questions

  • What does the term Altmetric mean to students?
  • Is there value in adding an Altmetric badge to search results in the library website’s discovery system?
  • How do students respond to icons displaying Altmetrics information?


  • 7 students (6 undergraduate and 1 graduate) participated in a usability study conducted by the UX team
  • Participants were asked to conduct a search on a Primo staging site until they noticed the inclusion of the Altmetric badge

What did we Learn?

  • Participants were unfamiliar with the term Altmetric before participating in this study
  • Users wanted an optional pop-up box that they could click on to understand what the Altmetric badge was. Participants wanted the explainer written in simple language
  • Participants stated that an Altmetric badge on Primo search results would be useful for some users as it highlighted article significance
  • Participants who frequently used the library discovery system were more likely to notice the Altmetric badge, while infrequent users did not notice the new icon
  • Participants did not find the Altmetric badge visually distracting. They tended to like the size, colouring and location of the badge

Our Recommendations

  • Include Altmetric in the article search results on the library website
  • Keep the aesthetics and badge location consistent
  • Provide a more detailed description of Altmetric and its purpose


Year of Study


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