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An empirical investigation in using multi-modal metaphors to browse internet search results. An investigation based upon experimental browsing platforms to examine usability issues of multi-nodal metaphors to communicate internet-based search engine results.

By Antonio Ciuffreda


This thesis explores the use of multimodality to communicate retrieved results of Internet search engines. The investigation aimed to investigate suitable multimodal metaphors which would increase the level of usability of Internet search engine interfaces and enhance users` experience in the search activity. The study consisted of three experiments based on questionnaires and Internet search activities with a set of text-based and multimodal interfaces. These interfaces were implemented in two browsing platforms, named AVBRO and AVBRO II. In the first experiment, the efficiency of specific multimodal metaphors to communicate additional information of retrieved results was investigated. The experiment also sought to obtain users` views of these metaphors with a questionnaire. An experimental multimodal interface of the AVBRO platform, which communicated additional information with a combination of three 2D graphs and musical stimuli, was used as a basis for the experiment, together with the Google search engine. The results obtained led to the planning of a second experiment. The aim of this experiment was to obtain and compare the level of usability of four different experimental multimodal interfaces and one traditional text-based interface, all implemented in the AVBRO II platform. Effectiveness, efficiency and users` satisfaction were used as criteria to evaluate the usability of these interfaces. In the third and final experiment the usability analysis of a traditional text-based interface and the two most suitable experimental multimodal interfaces of the AVBRO II platform was further investigated. Learnability, errors rate, efficiency, memorability and users` satisfaction were used as criteria to evaluate the usability of these interfaces. The analysis of the results obtained from these experiments provided the basis for a set of design guidelines for the development of usable interfaces based on a multimodal approach

Topics: Internet, Search engines, Multimodality, AVBRO, Multimodal metaphors, Usability, Multimodal interfaces, Users` satisfaction
Publisher: Department of Computing, School of Informatics,
Year: 2008
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Bradford Scholars
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