Optimizing Search By Showing Results In Context

CHI '01: Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems |

Published by Association for Computing Machinery, Inc.

We developed and evaluated seven interfaces for integrating semantic category information with Web search results. List interfaces were based on the familiar ranked-listing of search results, sometimes augmented with a category name for each result. Category interfaces also showed page titles and/or category names, but re-organized the search results so that items in the same category were grouped together visually. Our user studies show that all Category interfaces were more effective than List interfaces even when lists were augmented with category names for each result. The best category performance was obtained when both category names and individual page titles were presented. Either alone is better than a list presentation, but both together provide the most effective means for allowing users to quickly examining search results. These results provide a better understanding of the perceptual and cognitive factors underlying the advantage of category groupings and provide some practical guidance to Web search interface designers.