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Understanding the Everyday Use of Images on the Web

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This was presented at NordiCHI 2010 along with Jennifer Rode from Drexel. It was based on my diary study of nine participants regarding their use of images on the Internet.

I'm planning to give a similar talk on the subject, aimed at a more commercial audience.

Blog post here: http://boonyew.com/interaction/2010/10/28/why-we-use-images-on-the-internet/

Published in: Technology, Business
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Understanding the Everyday Use of Images on the Web

  1. 1. Understanding the Everyday Use of Images on the Internet Boon Chew, Jennifer Rode, Abigail Sellen
  2. 2. 2 Project Aims • Research Question: Understand how people use images on the Internet in their everyday lives • Goal: Create a framework for understanding the motivations for everyday image use
  3. 3. 3 Literature Review • Classifying Search Behavior: – Directed v.s. exploratory search [Dumais et al, 2009; Marchionini, 1995] • Studies of Image Use: – By professional images [Armitage et al, 1997; Choi & Rasmussen, 2003; Markkula & Sormunen, 2000; Westman & Oittinen, 2006] – Studies of photowork and personal photos [Kirk et al, 2006; Graham et al, 2002; Rodden et al, 2003; Miller & Edwards, 2007] – Goodrum & Spink’s analyses of image search logs [2001]
  4. 4. 4 Method: Diary Study • 1st phase: Initial interviews • 2nd phase: – Participants logged activities involving images (excluding personal photos) – Periodic interviews to discuss tasks, goals, and motivations • 3rd phase: final interview
  5. 5. 5 Participants • 9 participants recruited via snowball sampling • Ages 24 to 59 • 5 females / 4 males • Occupations: housewife, student, retired lawyer, bookshop asst., graphic artist, recruiter, civil servant, accountant, blogger
  6. 6. Analysis Technique • Grounded Theory • Coding based on image use motivations • 13 sub-categories • Four high-level categories – Learning & Research – Image Access as Secondary Goals – Recreating/Connecting to Remote Experiences – Images as Objects of Communication 6
  7. 7. 7 Findings • Everyday Image use activities consist of: – 10% Image search tools i.e. Google Images – 17% Social networking sites, – 7% Maps – 16% News sites – 50% Domain-specific sites (e.g. company websites, e- commerce, interest sites such as photography)
  8. 8. Analysis Technique • Learning & Research • Image Access as Secondary Goals • Recreating/Connecting to Remote Experiences • Images as Objects of Communication 8
  9. 9. 9 Learning and Research – Images to Support ongoing interests or research – Images to satisfy curiosity – Images for visual discovery – Images as ideas > Findings
  10. 10. Images as Support Ongoing Interests or Research: 10 > Findings > Learning and Research > Examples “Gracia explained how she was looking for new work from [photographer A] on his Website. She found some new art there, then started searching for more of his work on Google Images, which she said was easier as it catches her attention.” (Fieldnotes for PS-CF-5)
  11. 11. Images to Satisfy Curiosity: 11 > Findings > Learning and Research > Examples
  12. 12. Images for Visual Discovery: 12 > Findings > Learning and Research > Examples
  13. 13. Images as Ideas: 13 > Findings > Learning and Research > Examples “There were a lot of beautiful images on this blog — she would look at the images before reading the content, as the images were very important to her. She visits the blog regularly because she wants to update herself about DIY, recycling and design.” (Fieldnotes for PS-CF-3)
  14. 14. Image Access as Secondary Goals – Images as Alternative Answers – Images as Aids for Geographical Orientation – Images as Indexes 14 > Findings >
  15. 15. Images as Alternative Answers: 15 > Findings > Secondary Goals > Examples
  16. 16. 16 Images as Aids for Geographical Orientation: > Findings > Secondary Goals > Examples
  17. 17. 17 Images as Indexes: the “right” DVD cover > Findings > Secondary Goals > Example
  18. 18. 18 Recreating or Connecting to Remote Experiences – Images for connecting to remote places – Images for re-living past experiences – Images for connecting to people and their lives – Images to connect to personalities > Findings
  19. 19. 19 Connecting to Remote Places > Findings > Remote Experiences > Examples
  20. 20. Images for re-living past experiences 20 > Findings > Remote Experiences > Examples
  21. 21. 21 Images for Connecting to People & their Lives: • Connecting to Family via Flickr: “...her sister was involved in a fashion show recently and so might have uploaded some photos… She uses Flickr as a way of checking up with her sister....” (Fieldnotes for PS-CF-4) > Findings > Remote Experiences > Examples
  22. 22. Images to connect to personalities 22 > Findings > Remote Experiences > Examples
  23. 23. 23 Discussion • Image search tool v/s browsing the familiar • Moved past keyword relevance & ranking accuracy to everyday use. • Allowed us to understand activities that existing tools do not support since they have a traditional search model of image use.
  24. 24. 24 Implications for Design • Search tools could explicitly support these types of image use, e.g. – For ‘Learning and research” supporting the context of exploratory search in particular is required. – To support ‘Images as a Secondary Goal” efficiency, accuracy and consistency are critical. • Images could just be a waypoint on way to goal. • Images as indexes could explicitly be used a navigation elements.
  25. 25. 25 Implications for Design • To support “Designing for Recreating or Connecting to Remote Experiences” – Increased fidelity to support to aid in recall recognition and simulate emotions – Means of evocatively capture and annotate experience with richness
  26. 26. Future Work • Studies to understand the relative frequency and values place on these types of image use • Creating tool to support these types of image use • Need to integrate our findings to broaden formal models of image search.
  27. 27. 27 Conclusions • Image search as typified by Google or Bing! is only one type of image search • Created a taxonomy of image use to explain image use • Context is critical to future design 27
  28. 28. 28 Discussion • Image search tool v/s browsing the familiar • Moved past keyword relevance & ranking accuracy to everyday use. • Allowed us to understand activities that existing tools do not support since they have a traditional search model of image use.
  29. 29. 29 Implications for Design • Search tools could explicitly support these types of image use – E.g. For images as a secondary efficiency, accuracy and consistency are critical. • Images could just be a waypoint on way to goal. • Images as indexes could explicitly be used a navigation elements.
  30. 30. 30 Questions? Boon Yew Chew b.chew@ucl.ac.uk Jennifer Rode jar394@drexel.edu Abigail Sellen asellen@microsoft.com 30
  31. 31. Extra Slides 31
  32. 32. 32 Images as Objects of Communication – Images to do the work of communication – Images for social interaction > Findings
  33. 33. Images to Do the Work of Communication 33 > Findings > Remote Experiences > Examples
  34. 34. Images for Social Interaction • Fieldnotes for Tom: The object of the game, played twice weekly, is to identify an obscure person based only on a photo. The person with the correct guess then uploads the next picture. While Tom was on the site, he clicked on other thumbnails of obscure people that looked interesting. There was one of Mae Busch, which looked interesting because you could barely recognize the person. In fact, he enlarged the photo so he could identify the person better. 34 > Findings > Remote Experiences > Examples

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