A novel and complex form of information access is cross-language information retrieval: searching for texts written in foreign languages based on native language queries. Although the underlying technology for achieving such a search is relatively well understood, the appropriate interface design is not. This paper presents three user evaluations undertaken during the iterative design of Clarity, a cross-language retrieval system for rare languages, and shows how the user interaction design evolved depending on the results of usability tests. The first test was instrumental to identify weaknesses in both functionalities and interface; the second was run to determine if query translation should be shown or not; the final was a global assessment and focussed on user satisfaction criteria. Lessons were learned at every stage of the process leading to a much more informed view of what a cross-language retrieval system should offer to users
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