Development of visual aids to desktop searching.
Mclean Hendry Douglas.
Date of Issue2006
Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information
Previous research has shown that graphical visualisations can assist users to more efficiently and effectively understand large volumes of information. The task of searching for documents is becoming more challenging as the volumes of data stored on computers continues to increase. The objective of this research project was to investigate the use of novel visualisations in a desktop search tool to assist users in the search process. The research premise was that no single visualisation could support all the tasks in the searching process. Therefore, it was proposed that a combination of visualisations integrated into a single search tool could provide a more useful tool to assist users in the searching process. A number of novel visualisations were developed to support reviewing the results of a query and to assist the user in query reformulation. These were integrated into a desktop search tool developed using Java based technology. The visualisations provided a hierarchical view of the search results (Tree View), an overview of the query terms and the results files (Map View), a multi-dimensional chart of potential document relevance (Bubble view), a size-based relevance display (Tile View) and a word cloud of document contents to assist in query reformulation (Cloud View). An initial evaluation of this search tool was undertaken to gauge its potential usefulness and to detect usability issues with its interface and graphical presentations. A large-scale questionnaire-based survey was conducted using 94 evaluators to undertake a review of the search tool.
DRNTU::Library and information science::Libraries::Information retrieval and analysis
Nanyang Technological University