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How Children Search the Internet with Keyword Interfaces
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How Children Search the Internet with Keyword Interfaces


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A study conducted by the Human-Computer Interaction Lab researchers at the University of Maryland:

A study conducted by the Human-Computer Interaction Lab researchers at the University of Maryland:

Published in: Technology, Design

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  • Use triggers to excite searchConnect search interface with social networking sites to support adolescents’ social computer use and reliance on othersMake success visible to encourage confidence in all searchers
  • Transcript

    • 1. How Adolescents Search the Web with Keyword Interfaces:A pilot study
      Elizabeth Foss*, Allison Druin*, Robin Brewer†, Phillip Lo*, Luis Sanchez†, Evan Golub†
      *College of Information Studies †Department of Computer Science
    • 2. The Study
      Qualitative Study
      In-home interviews with adolescents
      Eleven 16-year-olds, 3 Male
      Questions regarding general computer use and affect
      Five search tasks, ranging in difficulty and agency
    • 3. Data Analysis
      Examined the Search Task portions of the interviews for 4 aspects:
      (Beyer and Holtzblatt, 1998)
    • 4. Roles
      Developing Searcher
      Domain-Specific Searcher
      Power Searcher
      Non-Motivated Searcher
      Distracted Searcher
      Visual Searcher
      Rule-Bound Searcher
    • 5. Roles
      Developing Searcher
      Domain-Specific Searcher
      Power Searcher
      Visual Searcher
      Doubting Searcher
      Social Searcher
      Non-Motivated Searcher
      Rule-Bound Searcher
    • 6. Developing Searcher
      Difficulty when facing multi-step search task
      Limited knowledge and use of search engine tools
      Unplanned, wandering search paths
      Focused on search tasks
      Perceive themselves as advanced users
    • 7. Domain-Specific Searcher
      Expertise in specific content area of interest
      Expertise does not transfer to general searching ability
      Influenced by family
    • 8. Visual Searcher
      Prefer to look for information using images or video
      Verbally discuss videos and images
      Widely influenced by friends, school, and siblings
      Broadly triggered to searching by personal interests, school, music, events, and conversations
    • 9. Non-Motivated Searcher
      Minimally engaged during interview, limited verbal response
      Unfocused, distracted search behaviors
      Physically distant from the computer
      Shortest possible, most efficient search paths
      Only triggered to search by school
    • 10. Rule-Bound Searcher
      Searching is dictated by a set of rigid guidelines
      Display trust in their searching patterns
      Double-check results
      Rate themselves as less skilled at early ages
      Report outside influence when describing how they learned to search; from school or by watching friends
    • 11. Power Searcher
      Confident, verbal
      Use of search engine tools
      Self-report advanced use at a young age
      More influenced by fathers than other roles
      Some report no frustrations with the computer
      Have programming abilities
    • 12. Differences from younger children:
      Natural language queries
      Higher overall level of expertise
      Power Searcher
    • 13. Doubting Searcher
      Asking clarifying questions
      Rate themselves as less skilled
      Report social use of the computer as a favorite activity
      All report influence from school and spend more time searching for school
      Heavily female
    • 14. Social Searcher
      Use of social networking or communication sites
      Instigating conversations with other people on and offline while using the computer
      Broadly triggered to search by images, music, conversations, personal interests, and school
    • 15. Druin, et al., 2010
    • 16. Role Connections
    • 17. Conclusions
      Some search behaviors are more permanent, while others develop later
      Educators, parents and designers can use search roles as guide to promote search literacy
      Teach skills of Power Searchers to all
      Social searching for adolescents
      Use domains as access points to motivate search
    • 18. Future Work
      Full study with 15 and 16-year-olds, 80 planned participants.
      How to truly challenge more expert searchers?
      Comparative analysis with data from younger children.
    • 19. Acknowledgements
      Thank you to the participating families!
      This research was made possible with a Google University Research Grant.
    • 20. References
      Beyer, H., and Holtzblatt, K. Contextual Design: Defining Customer-Centered Systems. Morgan Kaufmann, San Francisco CA, USA, (1998).
      Druin, A., Foss, E., Hatley, L., Golub, E., Guha, M.L., Fails, J., and Hutchinson, H. How children search the Internet with keyword interfaces. In Proc. IDC 2009, ACM Press (2009), 89-96.
      Druin, A., Foss, E., Hutchinson, H., Golub, E., and Hatley, L. Children’s roles using keyword search interfaces at home. In Proc. of CHI 2010, ACM Press (2010), 413-422.
      Smith, M., Milic-Frayling, N., Shneiderman, B., Mendes Rodrigues, E., Leskovec, J., Dunne, C., (2010). NodeXL: a free and open network overview, discovery and exploration add-in for Excel 2007/2010, from the Social Media Research Foundation,