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HCIL-2008-06

Kules, B., Wilson, M., Schraefel, M., Shneiderman, B. (February 2008)
From Keyword Search to Exploration: How Result Visualization Aids Discovery on the Web
HCIL-2008-06

A key to the Web's success is the power of search. The elegant way in which search results are returned is usually remarkably effective. However, for exploratory search in which users need to learn, discover, and understand novel or complex topics, there is substantial room for improvement. Human computer interaction researchers and web browser designers have developed novel strategies to improve Web search by enabling users to conveniently visualize, manipulate, and organize their Web search results. This monograph offers fresh ways to think about search-related cognitive processes and describes innovative design approaches to browsers and related tools. For instance, while key word search presents users with results for specific information (e.g., what is the capitol of Peru), other methods may let users see and explore the contexts of their requests for information (related or previous work, conflicting information), or the properties that associate groups of information assets (group legal decisions by lead attorney). We also consider the both traditional and novel ways in which these strategies have been evaluated. From our review of cognitive processes, browser design, and evaluations, we reflect on the future opportunities and new paradigms for exploring and interacting with Web search results.



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