Think outside the search box: A comparative study of visual and form-based query builders

by   Tanja Svarre, et al.

Knowledge workers such as healthcare information professionals, legal researchers, and librarians need to create and execute search strategies that are comprehensive, transparent, and reproducible. The traditional solution is to use proprietary query building tools provided by literature database vendors. In the majority of cases, these query builders are designed using a form-based paradigm that requires the user to enter keywords and ontology terms on a line-by-line basis and then combine them using Boolean operators. However, recent years have witnessed significant changes in human-computer interaction technologies and users can now engage with online information systems using a variety of novel data visualisation techniques. In this paper, we evaluate a new approach to query building in which users express concepts as objects on a visual canvas and compare this with traditional form-based query building in a lab-based user study. The results demonstrate the potential of visual interfaces to mitigate some of the shortcomings associated with form-based interfaces and encourage more exploratory search behaviour. They also demonstrate the value of having a temporary 'scratch' space in query formulation. In addition, the findings highlight an ongoing need for transparency and reproducibility in professional search and raise further questions around how these properties may best be supported.


Interactive query expansion for professional search applications

Knowledge workers (such as healthcare information professionals, patent ...

Analyzing and Learning from User Interactions for Search Clarification

Asking clarifying questions in response to search queries has been recog...

Starting Conversations with Search Engines – Interfaces that Elicit Natural Language Queries

Search systems on the Web rely on user input to generate relevant result...

QueryBooster: Improving SQL Performance Using Middleware Services for Human-Centered Query Rewriting

SQL query performance is critical in database applications, and query re...

Assessing the Value of 3D Reconstruction in Building Construction

3-dimensional (3D) reconstruction is an emerging field in image processi...

Answering Comparative Questions: Better than Ten-Blue-Links?

We present CAM (comparative argumentative machine), a novel open-domain ...

Please sign up or login with your details

Forgot password? Click here to reset