Characterizing Search Behavior in Productivity Software

Horatiu Bota, Adam Fourney, Susan T. Dumais, Tomasz L. Religa, Robert Rounthwaite
2018 Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Human Information Interaction&Retrieval - CHIIR '18  
Complex software applications expose hundreds of commands to users through intricate menu hierarchies. One of the most popular productivity software suites, Microsoft Office, has recently developed functionality that allows users to issue free-form text queries to a search system to quickly find commands they want to execute, retrieve help documentation or access web results in a unified interface. In this paper, we analyze millions of search sessions originating from within Microsoft Office
more » ... lications, collected over one month of activity, in an effort to characterize search behavior in productivity software. Our research brings together previous efforts in analyzing command usage in large-scale applications and efforts in understanding search behavior in environments other than the web. Our findings show that users engage primarily in command search, and that re-accessing commands through search is a frequent behavior. Our work represents the first large-scale analysis of search over command spaces and is an important first step in understanding how search systems integrated with productivity software can be successfully developed.
doi:10.1145/3176349.3176395 dblp:conf/chiir/BotaFDRR18 fatcat:hhpayyamn5bblekftbuhln5wvq