A user-centered approach to evaluating human interaction with Web search engines: an exploratory study

Amanda Spink
2002 Information Processing & Management  
Spink, Amanda (2002) A user-centered approach to evaluating human interaction with web search engines: an exploratory study. Information Processing and Management 38(3):pp. 401-426. Accessed from http://eprints.qut.edu.au ABSTRACT A growing body of studies is developing approaches to evaluating human interaction with Web search engines, including the usability and effectiveness of Web search tools. This study explores a user-centered approach to the evaluation of the Web search engine Inquirus
more » ... a Web metasearch tool developed by researchers from the NEC Research Institute. The goal of the study reported in this paper was to develop a user-centered approach to the evaluation including: (1) effectiveness: based on the impact of users' interactions on their information problem and information seeking stage, and (2) usability: including screen layout and system capabilities for users. Twenty-two (22) volunteers searched Inquirus on their own personal information topics. Data analyzed included: (1) user pre-and post-search questionnaires and (2) Inquirus search transaction logs. Key findings include: (1) Inquirus was rated highly by users on various usability measures, (2) all users experienced some level of shift/change in their information problem, information seeking, and personal knowledge due to their Inquirus interaction, (3) different users experienced different levels of change/shift, and (4) the search measure precision did not correlate with other user-based measures. Some users experienced major changes/shifts in various userbased variables, such as information problem or information seeking stage with a search of low precision and vice versa. Implications for the development of user-centered approaches to the evaluation of Web and IR systems and further research are discussed.
doi:10.1016/s0306-4573(01)00036-x fatcat:zeruzc6n2rhyfj3qmbwllabdja