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A Model of Consumer Search Behaviour
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A Model of Consumer Search Behaviour

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In order to design better search experiences, we need to understand the complexities of human information-seeking behaviour. In previous work, we proposed a model of information behavior based on an ...

In order to design better search experiences, we need to understand the complexities of human information-seeking behaviour. In previous work, we proposed a model of information behavior based on an analysis of the information needs of knowledge workers within an enterprise search context. In this presentation, we extend this work to the site search context, examining the needs and behaviours of users of consumer-oriented websites and search applications.

We found that site search users presented significantly different information needs to those of enterprise search, implying some key differences in the information behaviours required to satisfy those needs. In particular, the site search users focused more on simple “lookup” activities, contrasting with the more complex, problem-solving behaviours associated with enterprise search. We also found repeating patterns or ‘chains’ of search behaviour in the site search context, but in contrast to the previous study these were shorter and less complex. These patterns can be used as a framework for understanding information seeking behaviour that can be adopted by other researchers who want to take a ‘needs first’ approach to understanding information behaviour.

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A Model of Consumer Search Behaviour A Model of Consumer Search Behaviour Presentation Transcript

  • Tony Russell-Rose, UXLabsStephann Makri, UCL
  •  Models of information seeking Studying consumer search behaviour  Data acquisition  Data analysis Mode sequences and patterns  Enterprise search vs. site search Conclusions UXLabs - User Experience Research and Design - www.uxlabs.co.uk 2
  • Analytical frameworks UXLabs - User Experience Research and Design - www.uxlabs.co.uk 3
  • • to keep a search on track and Monitoring efficientInformation • for navigating through the file or link structure structure of the individual resources Query • to support the overall query orreformulation search specification) • to aid the selection of words or Term phrases in the current query UXLabs - User Experience Research and Design - www.uxlabs.co.uk 4
  • Search Modes • Monitoring a known topic or set of variables over time • Following a specific plan for information gathering • Exploring a topic in an undirected fashionAnalysis Techniques • Looking for trends or correlations • Making comparisons • Experimenting with different aggregations/scaling • Identifying critical subsets • Making assessments • Interpreting data to find meaning UXLabs - User Experience Research and Design - www.uxlabs.co.uk 5
  • Original Model• Starting: activities associated with the initial search for information• Chaining: following citation chains• Browsing: semi-directed searches• Differentiating: filtering the material examined• Monitoring: maintaining awareness• Extracting: working thru a source to locate material of interestAdditions• Verifying: checking accuracy of information• Ending: activities associated with the end of a project UXLabs - User Experience Research and Design - www.uxlabs.co.uk 6
  • UXLabs - User Experience Research and Design - www.uxlabs.co.uk 7
  • UXLabs - User Experience Research and Design - www.uxlabs.co.uk 8
  • Data acquisition and analysis UXLabs - User Experience Research and Design - www.uxlabs.co.uk 9
  •  Information needs gathered thru client engagements (stakeholder workshops) ▪ Find best offers before the others do so I can have a high margin. ▪ Get help and guidance on how to sell my car safely so that I can achieve a good price. ▪ Understand what is selling by area/region so I can source the correct stock. ▪ See year-on-year ad spend trends for TV and online to supply to the Head of Global Media. Moderated, normalised, then prioritised  277 ‘micro-scenarios’ UXLabs - User Experience Research and Design - www.uxlabs.co.uk 10
  • Interviewtranscripts, Information Information Design direct behaviours needs insightsobservation Start from interview transcripts / direct observation Identify information behaviours Infer information needs Derive design insights UXLabs - User Experience Research and Design - www.uxlabs.co.uk 11
  • Information Information Interactions needs behaviours Design insights Start directly from information needs  Identify design insights  Infer behaviours and interactions to support them UXLabs - User Experience Research and Design - www.uxlabs.co.uk 12
  •  Real world data!  Field based, not lab based Shortcomings of interview transcripts:  Observed behaviours are inevitably bounded by current systems & working practices  Do not reflect aspirational or unmet needs UXLabs - User Experience Research and Design - www.uxlabs.co.uk 13
  • Locating Verifying Monitoring Comparing Comprehending Partially inductive  Apply the previous model Scenarios Partially deductive  Identify new types of behaviour UXLabs - User Experience Research and Design - www.uxlabs.co.uk 14
  • Lookup • Locating • Verifying • MonitoringInvestigate Learn• Analyzing • Comparing• Evaluating • Comprehending• Synthesizing • Exploring UXLabs - User Experience Research and Design - www.uxlabs.co.uk 15
  • Locate • Find a specific (possibly known) item • “Find my reading list items quickly” – Student • Confirm that an item meets some specific, objectiveVerify criterion • “See the correct price for singles and deals” – Professional Purchaser • Maintain awareness of the status of an item for purpose ofMonitor management or control • “Alert me to new resources in my area” – Lecturer UXLabs - User Experience Research and Design - www.uxlabs.co.uk 16
  • • To identify similarities & differences within a set of items Compare • “Compare cars that are my possible candidates in detail” – Knowledgeable Seeker • To generate independent insight by interpreting patterns within a data setComprehend • “Understand what my competitors are selling” – Independent Dealer • To investigate an item or data set for the purpose of Explore knowledge discovery • “Find useful stuff on my subject topic” – Student UXLabs - User Experience Research and Design - www.uxlabs.co.uk 17
  • • To examine an item or data set to identify patterns & relationships Analyze • “Analyze the market so I know where my strengths and weaknesses are” – Franchise Dealer • To use judgement to determine the value of an item with respect to a specific goal Evaluate • “I want to know whether my agency is delivering best value” – Marketing Professional • To create a novel or composite artefact from diverse inputsSynthesize • “I need to create a reading list on celebrity sponsorship” – Faculty UXLabs - User Experience Research and Design - www.uxlabs.co.uk 18
  • Search modes and patterns 19
  •  Search behaviour is not random  Framework captures common patterns  Repeating sequences of 2 or 3 modes  Composite chains (nested) UXLabs - User Experience Research and Design - www.uxlabs.co.uk 20
  •  Explore -> Analyze -> Comprehend (44/97)  Assess the proper market value for my car Explore -> Locate -> Evaluate (31/97)  Find best offers before the others do so I can have a high margin Locate -> Verify (29/56)  Find a van that meets a customers requirements UXLabs - User Experience Research and Design - www.uxlabs.co.uk 21
  • Explore Analyze Comprehend Comprehend Locate Evaluate Verify UXLabs - User Experience Research and Design - www.uxlabs.co.uk 22
  • VerifyAnalyze Comprehend Synthesize Compare EvaluateMonitor AnalyzeExplore UXLabs - User Experience Research and Design - www.uxlabs.co.uk 23
  •  Greater emphasis on ‘Lookup’ modes  Locate, Verify  Synthesize represents a tiny fraction (2) Less emphasis on ‘Investigate’ modes  Analyze, Evaluate Much flatter distribution of patterns  Shorter chains  Less embedding UXLabs - User Experience Research and Design - www.uxlabs.co.uk 24
  • Summary and future work 25
  • Search modes• A lens for understanding information-seeking• A framework for describing composite patterns of behaviourSite Search vs. Enterprise Search• Same behaviours but different priorities and patterns• Shorter chains, less embeddingFurther Work• Refine and validate ‘needs first’ process• Extend framework to other data sources UXLabs - User Experience Research and Design - www.uxlabs.co.uk 26
  • Tony Russell-Rose, PhDDirector, UXLabs Web: http://uxlabs.co.uk Email: tgr@uxlabs.co.uk Blog: http://isquared.wordpress.com LinkedIn: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonyrussellrose Twitter: @tonygrr UXLabs - User Experience Research and Design - www.uxlabs.co.uk 28