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					    Search Engine Usability
       Taly Sharon
       www.sharon-it.com
        taly@sharon-it.com
        sharont@alum.mit.edu
1               www.sharon-it.com
                    Agenda
• Search Engines Issues
• Search Engines UI Paradigms
    – Including Ajax, query formulation and results
• Demonstration links
  (see www.sharon-it.com/new.html)
• References



2                    www.sharon-it.com
      Search Engines Issues
• How to phrase query?
• How to interpret query?
• How to present results?

• Additional Problem: Web Users (see next)!




3                www.sharon-it.com
                          Web Users?
     Make poor queries                  Specific behavior
       – short (3.3 terms average)           – 85% look over one result
       – imprecise terms                       screen only
       – sub-optimal syntax (80%             – 78% of queries not modified
         without operators)
       – low effort
     Wide variance on
       –   Needs
       –   Expectations
       –   Knowledge
       –   Bandwidth (and platforms)

4                             www.sharon-it.com
    Search Engines UI Paradigms
           Simple                 Overloaded
       Keywords                   Natural (NLP)
     User Control                 Automatic
            Static                Dynamic (Ajax)
          Textual                 Graphical


5                    www.sharon-it.com
    Simple  Overloaded
     Google: Lean and Mean?




6           www.sharon-it.com
    Yahoo!




7   www.sharon-it.com
    search.Yahoo.com




8        www.sharon-it.com
                          Google in 1998 –
                        looking up at Yahoo!?




    Source: Internet archive’s Wayback machine www.archive.org
9                          www.sharon-it.com
     Google Personalized




10         www.sharon-it.com
     Advanced




11    www.sharon-it.com
     MSN Search Builder




12         www.sharon-it.com
     Search Engines UI Paradigms
            Simple                 Overloaded
        Keywords                   Natural (NLP)
      User Control                 Automatic
             Static                Dynamic (Ajax)
           Textual                 Graphical


13                    www.sharon-it.com
     Natural (NLP)  Keywords
• Problem: How to formulate query?
• Solution 1: use Refine, Google Suggest
• Solution 2: use questions and answers
  engines - natural language processing
  (NLP)




14               www.sharon-it.com
                         Excite




15   www.sharon-it.com
               Google Suggest
• As you type – you get query suggestions
  and number of results per query.
• labs.google.com/suggest




16               www.sharon-it.com
     Q&A Engines (Natural Language)
• General SEs Q&A:
     – Google
     – Yahoo
     – MSN
• Q&A Engines:
     – Ask
     – Brainboost
     – Lexxe

17                  www.sharon-it.com
     (Dis)Advantages
• Advantages:
     – quick and dirty answer.
• Disadvantages:
     – often fail
     – Inaccurate
        • Who murdered JFK “Why the Fed Murdered JFK”
          (brainboost)
        • Who is the prime minister of Israel? Ariel Sharon
          (May 2006)
     – non-verified sources
     – slow
18                       www.sharon-it.com
     Search Engines UI Paradigms
            Simple                 Overloaded
        Keywords                   Natural (NLP)
      User Control                 Automatic
             Static                Dynamic (Ajax)
           Textual                 Graphical


19                    www.sharon-it.com
                Meta Search Engine (MSE)
Google · Yahoo · Ask
About ·LookSmart· Overture
FindWhat                             MetaCrawler




        Yahoo   Web Crawler Open Text Lycos   InfoSeek   Inktomi   Galaxy   Excite




   20                             www.sharon-it.com
21   www.sharon-it.com
     Vivisimo: link: Not supported?




22              www.sharon-it.com
         Problems of MSEs
• Limited support of advanced search
  options.
• Limited number (~10) of results from
  each search engine.
• Sponsored results from the SEs are not
  highlighted.

? Does the average user know this?
23               www.sharon-it.com
                Query Results
• Examples of User Interface in Query
  Results’ pages :
     – Google
     – Clusty/Vivisimo
     – A9
     – Exalead
     – KartOO (see Graphical)


24                    www.sharon-it.com
25   www.sharon-it.com
                         Clusty




26   www.sharon-it.com
27   www.sharon-it.com
28   www.sharon-it.com
29   www.sharon-it.com
     Search Engines UI Paradigms
            Simple                 Overloaded
        Keywords                   Natural (NLP)
      User Control                 Automatic
             Static                Dynamic (Ajax)
           Textual                 Graphical


30                    www.sharon-it.com
     Ajax
 Asynchronous
 JavaScript
 and XML



31              www.sharon-it.com
                    Ajax
• Asynchronous JavaScript and XML
• A Web 2.0 technology
• Fast (real-time) interactive page updates -
  directly from the database
• Ajax applications
• Try it yourself - Google Web Toolkit
  (GWT)

32                www.sharon-it.com
       Example Ajax Applications
•    Google Maps/Local (Yahoo, A9)
•    Housing Maps
•    Google Suggest
•    Windows live
•    Yahoo! Instant Search
•    GMail
•    And many more..

33                  www.sharon-it.com
             HousingMaps
• Mash-up of Google maps and Craigs list
  rentals
• Mash-up are websites that are built from
  pieces of other websites
• http://www.housingmaps.com/




34               www.sharon-it.com
                  Ajax Pros/Cons
• Pros
     – Interactivity!
• Cons
     – might easily break the expected behavior of the
       browser's back button
     – difficult for a user to bookmark a particular state of
       the application
     – users might experience delay in the interface of the
       web application
     – requires users to have JavaScript (or ActiveX) enabled
       in their browsers
     – a challenge for developers interested in adhering to
       WAI accessibility guidelines.
35                       www.sharon-it.com
             Yahoo! Instant
• Example of slow reaction
• Good implementation of “back”
• instant.search.yahoo.com




36               www.sharon-it.com
         AlltheWeb LiveSearch
• Yahoo’s AlltheWeb now has a new
  Livesearch feature.
• It takes the Google Suggest approach a
  step further.
• You will instantly see the results to the
  right side.


• http://livesearch.alltheweb.com/?ek=1

37                    www.sharon-it.com
     Search Engines UI Paradigms
            Simple                 Overloaded
        Keywords                   Natural (NLP)
      User Control                 Automatic
             Static                Dynamic (Ajax)
           Textual                 Graphical


38                    www.sharon-it.com
     Visual/Graphical Search Engines

 • KartOO www.kartOO.com
 • TouchGraph




39              www.sharon-it.com
                   Examples
1. Query: “Taly Sharon”
     – Main webpage, www.sharon-it.com
     – co-authors (selker, lieberman, frank,
       lockerd, etc.)
     – Conferences (IFLA, CHI, SigGraph, etc.)
     – Related keywords (mostly from
       research/papers)
     – Other related: GoogleGuide.com
2. Query: www.sharon-it.com (website)

40                   www.sharon-it.com
41   www.sharon-it.com
42   www.sharon-it.com
               (Dis)Advantages
• Advantages:
     – very visual, easy to detect trends.
     – Useful to find connections
• Disadvantages:
     – Requires training
     – Easy disorientation



43                     www.sharon-it.com
                                 Demonstration Links
 •    Google www.google.com
 •    Yahoo www.yahoo.com
 •    Yahoo Search Interface search.yahoo.com
 •    Google 1998 (from Internet Archive)
      http://web.archive.org/web/19981111183552/http://google.stanford.edu/
  •   Yahoo Advanced search.yahoo.com/web/advanced?ei=UTF-8
  •   Google Personalized www.google.com/ig
  •   MSN Search Builder search.msn.co.il
  •   Excite www.excite.com
  •   Google Suggest labs.google.com/suggest
  •   Ask www.ask.com
  •   Brainboost www.brainboost.com
  •   Lexxe www.lexxe.com
  •   Dogpile www.dogpile.com
  •   Vivisimo www.vivisimo.com
  •   Clusty www.clusty.com
  •   A9 www.a9.com
  •   Exalead www.exalead.com
  •   Google Maps maps.google.com
  •   Housing Maps www.housingmaps.com
  •   A9 maps maps.a9.com
  •   Windows live www.live.com
  •   Yahoo Instant instant.search.yahoo.com
  •   Alltheweb Livesearch livesearch.alltheweb.com/?ek=1
  •   Kartoo www.kartoo.com
44                                        www.sharon-it.com
                References
• Ajax – wikipedia
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AJAX
• http://blogs.zdnet.com/micro-
  markets/index.php?p=27
• http://yhoo.client.shareholder.com/downloads/2
  006AnalystDay.pdf
• http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4900742.
  stm
• http://www.dsi.uniroma1.it/~ale//BICI/IR/Slides
  /bertinoro8.pdf

45                  www.sharon-it.com

				
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posted:10/3/2011
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