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Posts Tagged ‘Information needs’

A short while ago I posted the slides to my talk at HCIR 2012 on Designing for Consumer Search Behaviour. Finally, as promised, here is the associated paper, which is co-authored with Stephann Makri (and is available as a pdf in the proceedings). This paper takes the ideas and concepts introduced in A Model of Consumer Search Behaviour and explores their practical design implications. As always, comments and feedback welcome 🙂

ABSTRACT

In order to design better search experiences, we need to understand the complexities of human information-seeking behaviour. In this paper, we propose a model of information behavior based on the needs of users of consumer-oriented websites and search applications. The model consists of a set of search modes users employ to satisfy their information search and discovery goals. We present design suggestions for how each of these modes can be supported in existing interactive systems, focusing in particular on those that have been supported in interesting or novel ways.

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A couple of weeks ago I posted the slides to my talk at EuroHCIR on A Model of Consumer Search Behaviour. Finally, as promised, here is the associated paper, which is co-authored with Stephann Makri (and also available as a pdf in the proceedings). I hope it addresses the questions that the slide deck provoked, and provides further food for thought 🙂

ABSTRACT

In order to design better search experiences, we need to understand the complexities of human information-seeking behaviour. In previous work [13], we proposed a model of information behavior based on an analysis of the information needs of knowledge workers within an enterprise search context. In this paper, we extend this work to the site search context, examining the needs and behaviours of users of 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. In particular, the site search users focused more on simple “lookup” activities, contrasting with the more complex, problem-solving behaviours associated with enterprise search. We also found repeating patterns or ‘chains’ of search behaviour in the site search context, but in contrast to the previous study these were shorter and less complex. These patterns can be used as a framework for understanding information seeking behaviour that can be adopted by other researchers who want to take a ‘needs first’ approach to understanding information behaviour.

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