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Search or Explore: do you know what you’re looking for?

By Jon Pearce, Shanton Chang, Basil Alzougool, Gregor Kennedy, Mary Ainley and Susan Rodrigues


This paper explores the distinctions between searching and exploring when looking for information. We propose that, while traditional search engines work well in supporting search behaviour, they are more limited in assisting those who are looking to explore new information, especially when the exploration task is ill-defined. We ran a pilot study using two systems: one based on a traditional database search engine, and the other – a highly innovative, engaging and playful system called iFISH – that we designed specifically to support exploration through the use of user preferences. We looked for evidence to support the concept that exploration requires a different kind of interaction. The initial results report a positive response to our exploration system and indicate the differences in preferences amongst users for systems that match their searching or exploring behaviours

Topics: X200
Year: 2011
OAI identifier:

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