Evaluation of IR User interface – Implications for User Interface Design

Preben Hansen


In this paper, we discuss the methodological framework used in an experimental evaluation study and present the implications drawn from the analysis of the information retrieval (IR) interaction for a user interface redesign of an on-line WWW-based IR system. The goal was to investigate if the current user interface to an on-line WWW-based IR system with real users with real information needs provided sufficient support in order to conduct an information-seeking task. For our study purpose, we used a set of data collection and analysis methods from the area of information science and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). We collected and analysed cognitive and statistical data using a combination of both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods such as questionnaires, open-ended questions and system log statistics. Variables and correlation between the variables were measured and requirement lists were elicited. Finally, the framework used, identified and recognised several important factors that need to be supported in the design of an user interface design. The framework also proves that an on-line based evaluation setting with real users and with real information seeking tasks is feasible.

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