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Archive for the ‘User experience’ Category

I am currently hiring for the following position. If you know of anyone suitable, please encourage them to apply!

Research Associate in the field of information retrieval / user experience (0.5 FTE)

This role is part of a Google-funded research project that aims to use AI (Artificial Intelligence) and data visualization to facilitate more efficient and effective approaches to information retrieval through the development of alternative approaches to search strategy formulation. This has the potential to minimize error and inefficiency in scientific research and facilitate more efficient and effective research workflows for the broader scientific community.

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I am recruiting sponsored or self-funded PhD students who wish to undertake projects in natural language processing and UX with focus on information retrieval, including the projects listed below.

Note that these topics are based on MSc level project proposals, but most have the scope and ambition to be scalable to PhD level work. Moreover, they are merely ideas at this stage, so feel free to adapt / enhance them to accommodate your own ideas and interests. Note also that this list is not exhaustive: we have other project ideas and proposals which aren’t quite ready for public dissemination.

If you are a self-funded student considering a PhD in any of the topics below please take a look at the further information and/or email me to discuss.

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Delighted to announce a new release of 2Dsearch, with various improvements including new preferences with options for snap-to-grid, advanced query parsing and default databases. We’ve also integrated the latest version of PolyGlot and fixed the query parser bug which so many of you raised.

What this means is that you can now use 2Dsearch to execute a single visual search across a dozen different databases and benefit from automated translations for many more. We’ve also made further improvements to the user experience and now provide example searches for each of the databases.

We’ve lots more planned for the next release, so if you’d like to help shape this or have comments or suggestions then please let us know.

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In this short video we take a brief look at searching grey literature. Grey literature is the term given to unpublished documents such as dissertations, technical reports, conference abstracts, newsletters, presentations and so on. Even though they may not have been formally published, these documents can still contain vital information.

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In this short video we learn how to automatically translate search strategies to the syntax of different databases.

Let’s start with a simple search strategy that finds documents on the use of exercise to prevent obesity in older people:

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I’m delighted to report that our paper ‘Interactive query expansion for professional search applications‘ has just been published in the journal Business Information Review. It’s been a long time in the making, primarily as the work was completed over an extended period of time involving many iterations, not all of which were successful (in the product development sense). But it does represent a concise summary of our work in investigating knowledge-based and distributional (word embedding) approaches to the generation of interactive query suggestions for professional search (which, I should point out, poses a qualitatively different and greater challenge than query suggestions for traditional keyword/web search). In fact, this paper represents an abridged version of the full results, since for reasons of space we were obliged to omit certain techniques that were less successful. For full details of those, please refer to our pre-print on arXiv.

Anyway, feedback so far has been very informative. Keep it coming in! New release coming soon, so happy to accommodate thoughts & suggestions. Abstract appended below.

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On Wednesday next week (14th July) I’ll be presenting a half day course called Search Usability, courtesy of CILIP and the UKeIG in particular. This course is new in two ways:

I did give some thought to the title. In particular, I’m aware that the term ‘usability’ has fallen out of favour in recent years, partly due to its connotations (in my view) as being a ‘nice to have’ feature or attribute. Instead, I prefer to frame UX in terms of ‘fitness for purpose’ or simply ‘good design’ – few would argue that those criteria are essential to any successful product or service. Moreover, they are central to the design of effective search experiences, and that’s what this course is all about.

I did also consider ‘Designing the Search Experience’, but I’ve rather beaten that title into submission in recent years, and besides, the course includes insights from UX research as well as UX design, so if you take it too literally you may incorrectly conclude that the course is aimed exclusively at designers (or individuals with such aspirations). Maybe I’m over-thinking this, but ‘Search Usability’, although it’s a bit 1990s, feels more inclusive.

Since this is only the second presentation of this particular course, its likely that we will need some flexibility in approach and content. For that reason I have included a few extra activities which I don’t expect to need on the day, but they are there just in case.

A final update: the previous presentation of this course sold out, so we said we’d do another one later in the year. As far as I’m aware, at the time of writing this there are still a few places available.

For further details and registration, see the UKeIG event page. In the meantime, I’ve appended further details below.

Hope to see you there!

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Spring is traditionally a time of new beginnings, so I am delighted this week to announce a new release of 2Dsearch. This release contains a variety of bug fixes and improvements, including support for two new databases: ACM Guide to Computing Literature and IDEAS (the largest bibliographic database dedicated to Economics available freely on the Internet). We’ve also improved our search report generation tool and now offer query statistics to help you refine those all important search strategies.

What all this means is that you can now use 2Dsearch to search visually across 12 different databases and use automated translations for 8 more. We’ve also made further improvements to the user experience and now provide example searches for each of the 12 databases.

We’ve lots more planned for the next release, so if you’d like to help shape this and/or have comments or suggestions then do let us know. We’d be delighted to hear from you!

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On Wednesday next week (17th Feb) I’ll be presenting a half day course called Search Usability, courtesy of CILIP and the UKeIG in particular. This course is new in two ways:

I did give some thought to the title. In particular, I’m aware that the term ‘usability’ has fallen out of favour in recent years, partly due to its connotations (in my view) as being a ‘nice to have’ feature or attribute. Instead, I prefer to frame UX in terms of ‘fitness for purpose’ or simply ‘good design’: few would argue that those criteria are essential to any successful product or service. Moreover, they are central to the design of effective search experiences, and that’s what this course is all about.

I did also consider ‘Designing the Search Experience’, but I’ve rather beaten that title into submission in recent years, and besides, the course includes insights from UX research as well as UX design, so if you take that title too literally you may incorrectly conclude that the course was aimed exclusively at designers (or individuals with such aspirations). Maybe I’m over-thinking this, but ‘Search Usability’, although it’s a bit 1990s IMHO, feels more inclusive.

Since this is the inaugural presentation of this course, its likely that we will need some flexibility in approach and content. For that reason I have included extra activities which I don’t expect to need on the day, but they are there just in case.

A final update: we just closed registrations for this presentation as we are now fully booked. But if there’s enough demand, we’ll do another presentation later in the year.

For further details and registration, see the UKeIG event page. In the meantime, I’ve appended further details below.

Hope to see you there!

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New year, new release — I am delighted this week to announce a new release of 2Dsearch. This contains a variety of bug fixes and improvements, including support for IEEE XPlore, a ‘Help me choose’ feature and automated search report generation.

You can now use 2Dsearch to search visually across 10 different databases and use automated translations for many more. We’ve also made improvements to the canvas user experience and now provide starter examples for each of the 10 databases.

We’ve lots more planned for the next release, so if you’d like to help shape this and/or have comments or suggestions then do let us know. We’d be delighted to hear from you.

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