Evaluating collaborative information-seeking interfaces with a search-oriented inspection method and re-framed information seeking theory
Information Processing & Management
Despite the many implicit references to the social contexts of search within Information Seeking and Retrieval research, there has been relatively little work that has specifically investigated the additional requirements for collaborative information seeking interfaces. Here, we re-assess a recent analytical inspection framework, designed for individual information seeking, and then apply it to evaluate a recent collaborative information seeking interface: SearchTogether. The framework was
... t upon two models of solitary information seeking, and so as part of the re-assessment we first re-frame the models for collaborative contexts. We re-frame a model of search tactics, providing revised definitions that consider known collaborators. We then re-frame a model of user profiles to analyse support for different group dynamics. After presenting an analysis of SearchTogether, we reflect on its accuracy, showing that the framework identified 8 known truths, 8 new insights, and no known-to-be-untrue insights into the design. We conclude that the framework a) can still be applied to collaborative information seeking interfaces; b) can successfully produce additional requirements for collaborative information seeking interfaces; and c) can successfully model different dynamics of collaborating searchers.