From Search Engines to Search Services: An End-User Driven Approach

by   Gabriela Bosetti, et al.

The World Wide Web is a vast and continuously changing source of information where searching is a frequent, and sometimes critical, user task. Searching is not always the user's primary goal but an ancillary task that is performed to find complementary information allowing to complete another task. In this paper, we explore primary and/or ancillary search tasks and propose an approach for simplifying the user interaction during search tasks. Rather than fo-cusing on dedicated search engines, our approach allows the user to abstract search engines already provided by Web applications into pervasive search services that will be available for performing searches from any other Web site. We also propose to allow users to manage the way in which searching results are displayed and the interaction with them. In order to illustrate the feasibility of this approach, we have built a support tool based on a plug-in architecture that allows users to integrate new search services (created by themselves by means of visual tools) and execute them in the context of both kinds of searches. A case study illustrates the use of these tools. We also present the results of two evaluations that demonstrate the feasibility of the approach and the benefits in its use.


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