Search Behaviours of Image Users: A Pilot Study on Museum Objects

Elaine Ménard
2011 Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research  
Many factors can overwhelm the searcher who is trying to retrieve images. Consequently, searching for images is still a problem for the majority of individuals, especially for images associated with text written in different languages unfamiliar to users. The purpose of this exploratory study was to investigate the factors affecting search behaviours of image users and to examine how individuals formulate their queries to retrieve museum object images indexed in different languages, using
more » ... ent search engines. This study also compared the search behaviours using different types of search engines to retrieve specific museum object images. It also highlighted how multilingual search functionalities are perceived and used when performing an image search task in a multilingual retrieval context. Thirty participants were randomly divided into three independent groups, each assigned to a different search engine. Each participant was asked to retrieve three images using both an all-purpose search engine and a specialized search engine. Once the retrieval of the images was completed, the participants filled out a questionnaire to provide feedback on the retrieval tasks they performed and information on their search behaviour when looking for Web images indexed in different languages. Multilingualism plays a strategic role in the quality and effectiveness of communication services offered on the Internet. Consequently, it is extremely important to make information available to the largest audience possible and to overcome language barriers by providing tools suited to the real and current needs of image searchers. The main contribution of this pilot study is to enhance the knowledge and understanding of image searching behaviour, in order to provide a basis for the modelling of a new search interface that takes into account the needs and expectations of real users.
doi:10.21083/partnership.v6i1.1433 fatcat:eamyebmrxfesvno2u572syphye