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A taxonomy of search strategies and their design implications


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The focus of this particular talk is on extending the review of information search strategies (aka ‘Modes of Discovery‘) with a deeper exploration of their implications for design at the application (architectural) level.

Published in: Design, Technology, Education

A taxonomy of search strategies and their design implications

  1. 1. Tony Russell-Rose, PhDUXLabs + City University London
  2. 2.  The landscape of search A framework for design  Dimensions of search user experience Patterns of search behaviour  Design implications Design resources Conclusions 2
  3. 3. Understanding the territory 3
  4. 4. Web Search  Key differences• Multiple engines  Rich link structure• Single source  Redundancy  Adversarial search & spamEnterprise search• Single engine  User goals & tasks:• Multiple sources  fact finding to exploratory search 4
  5. 5. Search Patterns,Peter Morville 2009 5
  6. 6. Disciplines and dimensions 6
  7. 7. How it worksDesign How it looks • User interface designResearch • Information architecture • Visual design • Interaction design Design Methodology • User-centred design 7
  8. 8. Where should the FacetedNavigation menu be located andhow should it be organised? 8
  9. 9. How should we present mixedcontent results to help users discoverthe most relevant and useful items? 9
  10. 10. User Type Objective Assets Mode of Discovery Electronics Engineer  “Find part #35456…”  Products  Analyzing Purchasing Agent  “Discover compatible  Rich Media  Comparing Novice Shopper parts …”  Textual Info  Evaluating Technical Enthusiast  “Understand part  Relationships  Exploring… obsolescence …”  Community  Locating … … … 10
  11. 11. Users vary in their level of knowledge, confidence & attitude Novice KNOWLEDGE Expert Uncertain CONFIDENCE Confident Novice Casual Purchasing Maintenance Tech Electronics News Shopper News Agent Technician Enthusiast Engineer Analyst Reader 11
  12. 12. Objectives vary in breadth & complexity I need to discover compatible parts that work for my I need to I need to find assembly understand part part number obsolescence & 2335456 manage our Electronics risks Engineer BREADTH Focused Broad Simple Complex COMPLEXITY I want to buyI want to buy I want an affordable shoes thatthe new Harry entertainment system match myPotter book for my family interview suit Novice Shopper 12
  13. 13. Simple COMPLEXITY Highly FacetedHomogeneous Diverse 13
  14. 14. Marchionini, 2006 • Lookup • Learn • InvestigateSpencer, 2006 Morville, 2010• Known-item • Quit• Exploratory • Narrow• Don’t know what • Expand you need to know • Pearl-growing• Re-finding • Pogo-sticking • Thrashing 14
  15. 15. Locating Verifying Monitoring Comparing Comprehending ExploringScenarios 15
  16. 16. • To find a specific (possibly known) item Locating • e.g. I need to find a new part with particular technical attributes and then source it from the most qualified supplier – Engineering • To confirm or substantiate that an item or set of items meetsVerifying some specific criterion • e.g. How can I determine if I am looking at the latest information for a part or supplier? - Supply Chain Specialist • To maintain awareness of the status of an item or data set forMonitoring purposes of management or control • e.g. I need to monitor at risk/failing customers/dealers so I can prompt my Account Reps to fix the problems - Sales Manager 16
  17. 17. • To examine two or more items to identify similarities & differences Comparing • e.g. I need to compare our module set teardowns with competitive teardown information to see if we’re staying competitive for cost, quality and functionality – Engineering • To generate insight by understanding the nature or meaning of an item or data setComprehending • e.g. I need to analyze and understand consumer-customer-market trends to inform brand strategy & communications plan – Director, Brand Image • To proactively investigate or examine an item or data set for the purpose of serendipitous knowledge discovery Exploring • e.g. I need to understand the cost drivers for this commodity so I can negotiate better terms with my suppliers and forecast business risk based on market indices - Procurement 17
  18. 18. • To critically examine the detail of an item or data set to identify patterns & relationships Analyzing • e.g. I need to know the cost drivers for a part such as materials that impact cost. Is the relationship a correlation or step function for a part cost driver? – Engineering • To use judgement to determine the significance or value of an item or data set with respect to a specific benchmark or model Evaluating • e.g. I need to determine my current state in my prints so I can evaluate if I have price variation to negotiate a better price – Procurement • To generate or communicate insight by integrating diverse inputs toSynthesizing create a novel artefact or composite view • e.g. I need to prepare a weekly report for my boss (sales mgr) of how things are going - Account Rep 18
  19. 19. Lookup • Locating • Verifying • MonitoringInvestigate Learn• Analyzing • Comparing• Evaluating • Comprehending• Synthesizing • Exploring 19
  20. 20. Mode chains and sequences 20
  21. 21. Analyzing Comparing Evaluating Engineering: Compare our module set teardowns with competitive teardown information to see if we’re staying competitive for cost, quality and functionality. Portfolio Manager: Compare a leads performance claims with relevant benchmarks to assess the leads claims Cost Estimators: Analyze & understand gaps between current costs of commodity versus best in class manufacturing costs ▪  Patentability search? 21
  22. 22. Exploring Analyzing Evaluating Core Engineer: Identify opportunities to optimize use of tooling capacity for my commodity/parts District Manager: Identify sales opportunities and targets (increased key customer market share across categories/brands; upsell-cross sell; promotional targets Category Manager: Evaluate & optimize our product portfolio: Which products should we de-list and retire? What new products should we be making/selling? ▪  Validity search? 22
  23. 23. Analyzing Comprehending Evaluating Engineering: Track module cost versus functionality over time to determine trends. Portfolio Manager: Understand a leads underlying positions so that I can assess the quality of the investment opportunity Procurement: Understand the cost drivers for a commodity so I can negotiate better terms with my suppliers and forecast business risk based on market indices ▪  Freedom-to-operate search? 23
  24. 24. Monitoring Analyzing Evaluating SVP Sales: Monitor how well we are tracking to revenue and margin targets by division Core Engineer: Monitor global commodity use in relation to plan/guidelines to identify gaps that require corrective action Financial Analyst: Monitor & assess commodity status against strategy/plan/target ▪  Patent watch? 24
  25. 25. Analyzing Comparing Synthesizing Director, Brand Image: Analyze and understand consumer-customer-market trends to inform brand strategy & communications plan Engineering: Find out how many parts I have in my module set of parts and find ways to reduce cost across them Core Buyer: Formulate scope & strategy for sourcing and gap closure ▪  Gap analysis (SOTA search)? 25
  26. 26. VerifyingAnalyzing Comprehending Synthesizing Comparing EvaluatingMonitoring AnalyzingExploring 26
  27. 27. Applying the insights 27
  28. 28. Usability,intuitiveness,engagement Power, flexibility, sophistication 28
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  42. 42.  Think facets, not forms Stay on the page Keep it lightweight React immediately Designing Web Interfaces , Bill Scott & Theresa Neil, 2009 42
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  44. 44.  Map discovery modes to screen components  Avoid “one size fits all” Create views by combining components  Communicate conceptual relationships through Gestalt principles of organization (e.g. similarity, closure, proximity, etc.) Compose applications by combining views 44
  45. 45. Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Purpose Page 4.A | Page 4.B  Supports exploration, S earc h Metric s B ar comparison and visualization View 1 View 2 View 3 B readc rumb Modes  Locating R es ults T able  Verifying  Evaluating  Analyzing  Exploring G uided C hart C hart Navigation Components  Breadcrumb View 1 View 2 View 3  Faceted Navigation  Metrics Bar  Results Table C ros s T ab  Chart R ange F ilter  Cross Tab R ec ord Detail 45
  46. 46.  Purpose Page 1 Page 2 Page 3  Present global overview / summary Metric s B ar Metric s B ar of key metrics Metric s B ar Metric s B ar Alerts Modes Metric s B ar Metric s B ar  Monitoring  Exploring Metric s B ar Metric s B ar C hart Alerts Components Metric s B ar  Metrics Bar  Alerts  Chart  Cross Tab C ros s T ab 46
  47. 47.  Purpose Page 1 Page 2 Page 3  Explore unstructured data S earc h Modes B readc rumb R es ults L is t  Comprehending  Exploring  Synthesizing C ompare Components  Search G uided Navigation Record Detail Find Similar  Breadcrumb  Faceted Navigation  Results List  Compare R ec ord Detail  Record Detail  Find Similar 47
  48. 48. Data Source B analyzeevaluate c ompare Data Data Source Source A C 48
  49. 49. Data Source Metrics Metrics Metrics C Bar Data Bar Data Bar Data A B C analyze monitorevaluate c ompare Data Data Source Source A B 49
  50. 50. Explore Monitor Compare ComprehendAnalyze Evaluate 50
  51. 51. Building on the foundations 51
  52. 52. Identify need for Identify the people who will human-centred design use the product, what they will use it for, and under what conditions they will use itEvaluation — ideally throughusability testing with actual users — is as integral as Understand & specify quality testing is to good software development context of use System satisfies Evaluate and modify specified requirements Specify requirements designs to drive design Build in stages, from Identify the business rough concepts to a Produce design solutions requirements and user goals complete design which meet requirements that must be met for the product to be successful * ISO 13407: Human centred design processes for interactive systems (renamed as ISO 9241-210) 52
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  55. 55. Final thoughts and reflections 55
  56. 56. Don’t think user interface…• …think user experienceLook for patterns of search behaviour• Identify discovery modes & workflowsLearn from other design contexts• Apply ideas from the wider search landscapeStand on the shoulders of giants• Use proven design processes, methodologies & resources 56
  57. 57. Tony Russell-Rose, PhD Vice-chair, BCS IRSG Chair, IEHF HCI Group Email: Blog: LinkedIn: Twitter: @tonygrr 57