On Search Powered Navigation

Dehghani, Mostafa and Jagfeld, Glorianna and Azarbonyad, Hosein and Olieman, Alex and Kamps, Jaap and Marx, Maarten (2017) On Search Powered Navigation. In: ICTIR '17 Proceedings of the ACM SIGIR International Conference on Theory of Information Retrieval :. ACM, NLD, pp. 317-320. ISBN 9781450344906

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Query-based searching and browsing-based navigation are the two main components of exploratory search. Search lets users dig in deep by controlling their actions to focus on and and just the information they need, whereas navigation helps them to get an overview to decide which content is most important. In this paper, we introduce the concept of search powered navigation and investigate the effect of empowering navigation with search functionality on information seeking behavior of users and their experience by conducting a user study on exploratory search tasks, differentiated by different types of information needs. Our main findings are as follows: First, we observe radically different search tactics. Using search, users are able to control and augment their search focus, hence they explore the data in a depth-first, bottom-up manner. Conversely, using pure navigation they tend to check different options to be able to decide on their path into the data, which corresponds to a breadth-first, top-down exploration. Second, we observe a general natural tendency to combine aspects of search and navigation, however, our experiments show that the search functionality is essential to solve exploratory search tasks that require finding documents related to a narrow domain. Third, we observe a natural need for search powered navigation: users using a system without search functionality and creative ways to mimic searching using navigation.

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23 Jan 2019 09:45
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28 Nov 2023 11:48