Nowadays, successful applications are those which contain features that captivate and engage users. Using an interactive news retrieval system as a use case, in this paper we study the effect of timeline and named-entity components on user engagement. This is in contrast with previous studies where the importance of these components were studied from a retrieval effectiveness point of view. Our experimental results show significant improvements in user engagement when named-entity and timeline components were installed. Further, we investigate if we can predict user-centred metrics through user’s interaction with the system. Results show that we can successfully learn a model that predicts all dimensions of user engagement and whether users will like the system or not. These findings might steer systems that apply a more personalised user experience, tailored to the user’s preferences
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