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Information seeking


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  • Presented at the London Search Meetup ( on February 11. Find out more about the Designing the Search Experience book at
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Information seeking

  1. 1. Information SeekingAn excerpt from Designing the Search ExperienceTyler Tate
  2. 2. Optimal point to leave current patch e ak nt ei urc so ReLeave prior patch Arrive at new patchCharnov’s marginal value theorem.
  3. 3. Informavorecreatures hungry for information
  4. 4. “What information consumes is rather obvious:it consumes the attention of its recipients.Hence a wealth of information creates apoverty of attention, and a need to allocatethat attention efficiently among the over-abundance of information sources that mightconsume it.”— Herbert Simon
  5. 5. SatisficeSacrifice the “perfect” for the “good enough”
  6. 6. Information scentcues that lead the user in the right direction
  7. 7. When information scent grows stronger frompage to page, users are confident that they’reheaded in the right direction. But when it’sweak, they may be uncertain about what todo, or even give up.
  8. 8. 60% success rateWords per link 7-8 11-12 15-16 19-20 23-24Descriptive titles.
  9. 9. Relevant snippets with hit highlighting.
  10. 10. Clear labeling.
  11. 11. Faceted navigation.
  12. 12. Information Query Document DocumentNeed Match RepresentationThe classic model of information retrieval.
  13. 13. QueryTask Information Verbal Form Query Search Results Need Engine DocumentsThe standard model of the search process.
  14. 14. Q3 Q5 Q6 Q4 Q2 Q7Q1The dynamic, or “berrypicking” model.
  15. 15. Recognize NeedUse FindInterpretation Information Validate and Interpret InformationThe information journey model.
  16. 16. Initiation Selection Exploration Formulation Collection ActionStages of information seeking.