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Posts Tagged ‘Information Discovery’

Last week I had the pleasure of presenting the keynote talk at the Supporting Discovery of Archival Collections: Challenges and Opportunities workshop, held at Wellcome Trust in London. The day was a thoroughly enjoyable mix of presentations and discussions and I learned a great deal. Many thanks to Paul Clough and his fellow organizers Paula Goodale (Sheffield University), Chris Hilton (Wellcome Trust), Sarah Higgins (Aberystwyth University) and Pauline Rafferty (Aberystwyth University). There are plans to produce a paper summarising the workshop findings which I very much look forward to seeing. In the meantime, the slides from my own talk are appended below, titled “Designing the Search Experience: The Language of Discovery”.

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uxlabs-192-79-transI am currently recruiting for the following position. We’d like to start asap, so if you know of anyone suitable, please do point in the direction of tgr AT uxlabs.co.uk. Thanks!

Researcher / analyst

UXLabs is seeking a researcher / analyst for a 4-6 month government-funded project investigating the commercial feasibility of a new approach to search query formulation. The project will involve a programme of qualitative research involving end users and stakeholders from a variety of target sectors. It will also include a competitive analysis of alternative approaches to complex query formulation. The results will be used to identify key user tasks and goals, quantify market opportunities, and drive product development.

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I’m pleased to announce the line up for EuroHCIR 2014, which will be held at BCS London on September 13. This event is the fourth HCIR event to be held outside of the US, and as such represents a critical point in the development of the HCIR community in Europe. We’re just in the process of finalizing the programme, which will include 7 presentations, a keynote speaker and an evening social. We also hope to include an interactive group session in the afternoon – more on that later. In the meantime, I’ve appended the full list of accepted papers below. More details on the EuroHCIR website. Hope to see you there!

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Fig. 2. Mode network for enterprise search

Around this time last year I gave a talk at AMR 2012 on the topic of Understanding and Designing for Consumer Search Behaviour. Since then I’ve been working with colleagues Joe Lamantia and Stephann Makri on an overview paper that summarises the work and illustrates its application to a well-known social media platform. I’m pleased to say that this paper is now finally available as an extended blog post (below) and as a rather more convenient pdf. As always, comments & feedback welcome 🙂

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failOK, I know it’s a bit of a provocative (and frivolous) title, but it was either that or “Anti-patterns for Search”, which is somewhat less transparent… Anyway, the point is that although this site focuses on sharing best practices for search usability and user-centred design in general, we sometimes learn more by studying examples of the opposite, i.e. poor practice. The thing about UX design is that when executed well it fades into the background, letting us get on with the task at hand and not worry about the machinery of the interaction. It isn’t until we encounter flawed design that we are jolted out of our flow and forced to make choices that don’t seem to fit with either our expectations or the natural course of our activity.

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designing-the-search-experience_large

I’m guessing that by now most people may have seen this, but just in case – and for the record – here is the official announcement of the publication of Designing the Search Experience: the Information Architecture of Discovery. It’s the product of almost two years effort by Tyler and me, so we’re both relieved and elated to finally see it in print.

I’ve appended a brief summary below. If you’d like to see more – including a free sample chapter – check out the book website. If you’re interested in reviewing it, drop me a line.

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Here are the slides from the talk I gave recently at HCIR 2012 on Designing for Consumer Search Behaviour. This presentation is the counterpart to the previous one: while A Model of Consumer Search Behaviour introduced the model and described the analytic work that led to it, this talk looks at the practical design implications. In particular, it addresses the observation that although the information retrieval community is blessed with an abundance of analytic models, only a tiny fraction of these make any impression at all on mainstream UX design practice.

Why is this? In part, this may be simply a reflection of imperfect channels of communication between the respective communities. However, I suspect it may also be a by-product of the way researchers are incentivized: with career progression based almost exclusively on citations in peer-reviewed academic journals, it is hard to see what motivation may be left to encourage adoption by other communities such as design practitioners. Yet from a wider perspective, it is precisely this cross-fertilisation that can make the difference between an idea gathering the dust of citations within a closed community and actually having an impact on the mainstream search experiences that we as consumers all encounter.

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Here are the slides from the talk I gave at EuroHCIR last week on A Model of Consumer Search Behaviour. This talk extends and validates the taxonomy of information search strategies (aka ‘search modes’) presented at last year’s event, but applies it in this instance to the domain of site search, i.e. consumer-oriented websites and search applications. We found that site search users presented significantly different information needs to those of enterprise search, implying some key differences in the information behaviours required to satisfy those needs.

As usual, some of the builds don’t come out quite right on Slideshare, but I can always make the ppt available if people want to see the original. I’ll post the full text of the paper itself here as well shortly (watch this space :))

 

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Here are the slides from the talk I gave at Enterprise Search Europe last week on A Taxonomy of Site Search. This talk extends and validates the taxonomy of information search strategies (aka ‘search modes’) presented at last year’s event, and reviews some of their implications for design. But this year we looked specifically at site search rather than enterprise search, and explored the key differences in user needs and behaviours between the two domains.

As usual, some of the builds don’t come out quite right on Slideshare, but I can always make the ppt available if people want to see the original.

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