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  2. Abstract
  3. Title: Visual Search Engine Evaluation: Authors: Efthimis N. Efthimiadis, Kathrine J. Bogh, John E. Tulinsky
  4. Biographies:
  5. Abstract

Today visual search tools are being used by children in Canada and Mongolia, and college students in the US. These diverse users each have their own needs, expectations, and uses for visual search and the results of such searches. This panel will address issues relating to visual search in diverse environments with various ages of users. The technologies studied are the International Children's Digital Library (ICDL), the children's portal, History Trek, and three web search engines (one visual–KartOO, one hybrid–Quintura, and one text-based--Google). Panelists will discuss users that range from children of ages 8 to 12, to college students and working adults in Canada, Germany, Honduras, Mongolia, New Zealand, and the United States.

Title: Visual Search Can Lead to Cultural Understanding

Author: Allison Druin

“You might not know the title of the book you want, but you just go through all the choosing and then find a book that's exactly what you're looking for.” These were the words of a 9-year old girl, from New Zealand, who participated in a four-year study of children (Druin et al., 2007) who used the International Children's Digital Library (ICDL). What we found among children 8–11 years of age in Germany, Honduras, New Zealand, and the United States, was that despite diverse cultures and contexts for use, children used the visual searching tools, as visual browsing tools. When they had the opportunity to browse, they continually found books from other cultures with unfamiliar languages and characters. In addition, we found that the visual interface for searching by location (spinning an on-screen globe) also expanded the world view of the study's children. As one parent in Honduras commented, “[My daughter] looks for a book on a certain place and then all of a sudden she talks about a country.”

In my talk, I will demonstrate the visual search tools of the International Children's Digital Library and present our most recent findings that suggest the visual nature of search can heavily influence children's understanding of and concern for diverse cultures. I will also present confirmation of this through our recent work in schools in rural Mongolia (Druin et al., In Press). Interest in book covers with unfamiliar languages, as well as interface button text that could be changed between 15 languages, colored how our young users saw their world.

BIO: Dr. Allison Druin is the Director of the Human-Computer Interaction Lab and an Associate Professor in the University of Maryland's College of Information Studies. She leads interdisciplinary research teams of librarians, educational researchers, computer scientists, artists, classroom teachers and children to create new educational technologies for elementary school children. Druin's most widely used work is the “International Children's Digital Library” (ICDL) http://www.childrenslibrary.org, now the largest digital library of international books in the world for children.

Title: Visual Search Engine Evaluation: Authors: Efthimis N. Efthimiadis, Kathrine J. Bogh, John E. Tulinsky

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Title: Visual Search Engine Evaluation: Authors: Efthimis N. Efthimiadis, Kathrine J. Bogh, John E. Tulinsky
  4. Biographies:
  5. Abstract

This study investigates how people search when using an engine with a visual user interface (UI) compared to the traditional text-based UI. The three search engines used in the evaluation are: one visual http://www.kartoo.com, one hybrid http://www.quintura.com, and one text-based (Google). The three queries used for searching are of the “informational” query type (per Broder's classification of queries) that corresponds to the usual “subject” searches. To simulate realistic user needs for the searchers we developed scenarios that give enough background information and reasons for the search as well as the type of information that is required to satisfy the information need. To account for learning effects both systems and queries were randomly allocated using a Latin square design. The study participants belong to two groups of users: a group of iSchool students and a group of non-iSchool searchers.

After each search task a questionnaire elicited information on performing the task and satisfaction with the search process. At the end of the three search tasks there are questions for comparing the three search engines. During the search participants were asked to follow the “think aloud” process; and the search was logged using a modified version of the DejaClick plug-in for the Firefox browser. The information logged includes date, time, URL, search terms, and whether searchers use one window or multiple to open and view the results/pages. The logs can be used to re-play the entire session as well as export the data for further analysis.

The goals of the study are to investigate visual search by comparing how people search using the three types of UIs; identifying user satisfaction levels with each system following a search; establishing how the visualizations help or hinder users with the search and navigation process; and study query formulation and reformulation patterns. The results of the study will be presented at the panel.

Biographies:

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Title: Visual Search Engine Evaluation: Authors: Efthimis N. Efthimiadis, Kathrine J. Bogh, John E. Tulinsky
  4. Biographies:
  5. Abstract

Efthimis N. Efthimiadis is Associate Professor at the Information School of the University of Washington, Seattle, WA. His research areas include information retrieval system design and evaluation, query expansion, and user studies of information interaction in context.

Kathrine J. (Kate) Bogh is a Master's student in Information Management at the iSchool of the University of Washington. Her interests include ontology development, visual representation of search results and metadata as it pertains to ease of information retrieval.

John E. Tulinsky is a student in the Master's in Science in Information Management program at the University of Washington's Information School. He has a background in pharmaceutical research and is especially interested in the capture, organization and dissemination of informal information in a research setting and in search of the scientific literature.

Title: Visualizing Hierarchical Taxonomies in Children's Web Portals: Authors: Andrew Large, Jamshid Beheshti, Valerie Nesset & Nahid Tabatabaei – School of Information Studies, McGill University Montreal, Canada

Abstract

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Title: Visual Search Engine Evaluation: Authors: Efthimis N. Efthimiadis, Kathrine J. Bogh, John E. Tulinsky
  4. Biographies:
  5. Abstract

Elementary students use the Web to find information for school assignments, but can encounter a variety of retrieval problems when using keywords. One way to reduce such problems has been to display a multi-level subject directory that can be browsed and from which appropriate terms can be selected. Recognizing displayed terms, it has been argued, imposes a lower cognitive load on children than formulating keyword-based queries. However, subject directories both in children's commercial web portals (such as Yahooligans) and experimental portals (such as History Trek) typically have employed hierarchically structured directories which can create problems for users and may themselves impose considerable cognitive demands. Children often find it difficult to know which top-level directory entry point (and in subsequent levels) eventually will lead to any particular subject “hidden” deeper in the hierarchy. A possible solution to this problem is to open out the directory by replacing a static hierarchical display by a dynamic display that reveals multidimensional links between terms. We are currently exploring the role that visualization techniques can play in creating such a display.

Using a methodology called Bonded Design, developed by us in earlier research, we have created an intergenerational design team comprising three adult researchers and seven grade-six students that is meeting twice weekly to develop a low-tech prototype of a visual design display that would transform a traditional hierarchical subject directory in an existing children's portal (History Trek) into a dynamic directory. Using the design created by the team, a working prototype will be developed. The intention then is to compare the resulting new version of History Trek with the original version to evaluate the efficacy of the visualization approach (the database and search engine will be identical in both versions). The overall aim of the research is to determine what role the visualization of hierarchically organized subject directories might play in a web portal interface intended for elementary school students.

Andrew Large is CN-Pratt-Grinstad Professor of Information Studies in the School of Information Studies, McGill University, and its former Director. His research areas, on which he has written and spoken extensively, include human-computer interaction, information behavior and information retrieval, especially in relation to young people.

Valerie Nesset is a doctoral candidate in the School of Information Studies, McGill University, from where she also holds a master' degree. Her dissertation research concentrates on the information behavior of grade-three elementary school students. She is also a sessional lecturer, teaching a first-year required course at the Master's level, and has authored or co-authored several publications about various aspects of children and information.

Nahid Tabatabaei is a doctoral student in the School of Information Studies, McGill University. She received a master's degree in library and information science from the University of Tehran and then worked in the distance education department of an Agricultural Information Center before coming to Canada. In her doctoral research she is investigating the intersection between Information Science and related disciplines.

  • Druin, A., Weeks, A., Massey, S., & Bederson, B. B. (2007). Children's interests and concerns when using the International Children's Digital Library: A four country case study. In Proceedings of Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL'2007) Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 167176.
  • Druin, A., Bederson, B. B., Massey, S., Rose, A., Weeks, A. (In Press). From New Zealand to Mongolia: Co-designing and deploying a digital library for the world's children. Children, Youth, and Environment: Special Issue on Children in Technological Environments.