Link Resolver icon wording

Salazar, Christina christina.salazar at CSUCI.EDU
Wed May 14 16:47:38 EDT 2014

I think there’s two problems here really: one is a usability problem and the other is that link resolver/open URL is a somewhat problematic technology – it’s definitely better than nothing, but it still has lots of hiccups and not a lot of transparency.

I was thinking (because I know how tiny that icon is): “Check for it” – slightly shorter than “Check for full text” but probably less clear about what’s going on. Again, this is only based on my knowledge of how problematic labeling this service is, not on any research I’ve done around possible solutions.

Christina Salazar
Systems Librarian
John Spoor Broome Library
California State University, Channel Islands
[Description: Description: CI Formal Logo_1B grad_em signature]

From: Web technologies in libraries [mailto:WEB4LIB at LISTSERV.ND.EDU] On Behalf Of Blakiston, Rebecca L - (blakisto)
Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 11:33 AM
Subject: Re: [WEB4LIB] Link Resolver icon wording

I sympathize with this struggle and hope someone responds with a good answer and some usability testing studies! I have seen in observation of users that it is often unclear where to go to find the full text if there isn’t a direct link. In some cases, users will click on the “library catalog” link rather than the link resolver, usually because that’s the first link.

Here, we used to have an icon that said “Article Linker” and this didn’t resonate well. Then we changed it to say, “Get Article,” which is a bit better but still not that intuitive, especially since it doesn’t always get you the article, and because it’s not even always an article! (Ebooks, for example). In both cases we tried to make it look like a button – a clear call to action. This hasn’t seemed to help much.

What we’re going to try next is “Check for full text,” as mentioned below. From a usability standpoint, I’d venture to guess this is the best option – it’s much clearer what will actually happen when you select that link. Ideally, your link resolver page then matches the same language so the user knows they are in the right place (this is another usability problem I’ve seen – some link resolver pages are problematic & once you’re there it’s difficult to know what to do next).

Haven’t done any real testing of this, though. Sounds like it would be a great candidate for multivariate testing if someone could figure out how to run that sort of test and get meaningful results…


Rebecca Blakiston
Website Product Manager
User Experience and Engagement Librarian
University of Arizona Libraries

From: Web technologies in libraries [mailto:WEB4LIB at LISTSERV.ND.EDU]<mailto:[mailto:WEB4LIB at LISTSERV.ND.EDU]> On Behalf Of Lise Brin
Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 10:22 AM
Subject: [WEB4LIB] Link Resolver icon wording

Some of our faculty members have reported that they dislike the wording we have on our Link Resolver icon: "Get it @ X" (X stands for Xavier, short for our institutional name). To them, seeing "Get it" below an article conveys that they *will* be able to access this article, not that they will have to *check* the resolver to see whether we have a subscription that includes it.
I am therefore looking at alternate wordings. I see that quite a few institutions use "Find It" (which doesn't seem like much of an improvement) while others are using "Check for full text" which seems better, but is rather long, especially since most vendors only allow space for a *tiny* icon.
Have any of you made changes along these lines? Did you do any user testing to assess how different wordings were being understood, and if so, did you learn anything useful?

All the best,
Lise Brin
Emerging Services & Outreach Librarian
St. Francis Xavier University
Antigonish, NS

To unsubscribe:

Web4Lib Web Site:


To unsubscribe:

Web4Lib Web Site:



To unsubscribe:

Web4Lib Web Site:

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the Web4lib mailing list