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Posts Tagged ‘search modes’

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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Here’s a sample of some of the things we’re working on at UXLabs this year, neatly packaged into Masters level ‘internships’. I use quotes there as it’s a convenient term used by many of my academic colleagues, but these opportunities are (a) unpaid and (b) remote (i.e. hosted by your own institution). So perhaps ‘co-supervised MSc projects initiated by a commercial partner’ is more accurate term… Anyway, what we offer is support, expertise, supervision and access to real world data/challenges. If you are interested in working with us on the challenges below, get in touch. (more…)

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Here’s a sample of some of the things we’re working on at UXLabs this year, neatly packaged into Masters level ‘internships’. I use quotes there as although it’s a convenient term used by many of my academic colleagues, these opportunities are (a) unpaid and (b) remote (i.e. hosted by your own institution). So maybe ‘co-supervised MSc projects initiated by a commercial partner’ is more accurate term… Anyway, what we offer is support, expertise, co-supervision and access to real world data/challenges. If you are interested in working with us on the challenges below, get in touch. (more…)

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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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ink blot

Folks who follow this blog will know that I try to strike a balance between topical, practitioner-oriented pieces and more academic articles such as scientific papers & other peer-reviewed content. I’m not always successful, but firmly believe that the most valuable use of this channel is to provide practical insights backed up by a solid theoretical basis wherever possible. Of course, it’s not an easy line to tread… get the balance wrong and you can end up with worthy but dull academic pieces that extend only marginally beyond the bounds of a narrow research community. Or conversely, anecdotal experiences that have little chance of delivering insights that generalise to other contexts and individuals.

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mobile paginationOne of the key insights to emerge from research into human information seeking is that search is more than just finding: in fact, search tasks of any complexity involve iteration across a number of levels of task context. From information retrieval at the lowest level to work task at the highest, searchers engage in a whole host of activities or search modes in the pursuit of their goals.

Of course, locating known items may be the stereotypical search task with which we are all familiar – but it is far from being the only one. Instead, for many search tasks we need to analyse, compare, verify, evaluate, synthesize… in short, we need to manipulate and interact with the results. While the previous post focused on informational features, our concern here is with interactivity. In this post, we consider techniques for managing and interacting with search results.

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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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