Facets can provide an interesting functionality in digital libraries. However, while some research shows facets are important, other research found facets are only moderately used. Therefore, in this exploratory study we com- pare two search interfaces; one where the facets panel is always visible and one where the facets panel is hidden by default. Our main research question is “Is folding the facets panel in a digital library search interface beneficial to aca- demic users?” By performing an eye tracking study with N=24, we measured search efficiency, distribution of attention and user satisfaction. We found no significant differences in the eye tracking data nor in usability feedback and conclude that collapsing facets is neither beneficial nor detrimental.
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