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Visualizing Query Occurrence in Mobile Web Search Interfaces

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2 Author(s)
Heimonen, T. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Univ. of Tampere, Tampere, Finland ; Siirtola, H.

Mobile Web search engines represent retrieved results using primarily text based result surrogates. Users could benefit from information visualization techniques that provide more information about the results as basis of relevance judgments. We present a query-biased visualization approach that incorporates query occurrence visualization into the conventional mobile Web search interface. Textual and graphical versions of the design were evaluated in a study with 18 users. Eleven of the participants preferred either one of the visualizations to the traditional search interface. The results suggest that the key benefit of the proposed visualization is its unobtrusiveness. It does not distract from normal use yet when necessary it can be used to help with relevance assessment, for example when the search engine fails to provide good result descriptors.However, the utility of the proposed query occurrence visualization is dependent on how well it matches the user's mental model and existing search strategies.

Published in:

Information Visualisation, 2009 13th International Conference

Date of Conference:

15-17 July 2009