Max L. Wilson, M.C. Schraefel, and Ryen W. White
“Evaluating advanced search interfaces using established information-seeking models. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology. 60, 7, July 2009, pp. 1407-1422”
The paper is concerned with situations in which users have poorly defined or complex information search goals. Search interfaces that offer only keyword-searching facilities provide inadequate support to help these users reach their information-seeking objectives. The emergence of interfaces with more advanced capabilities, such as faceted browsing and result clustering, can assist such users. The evaluation of these interfaces is challenging because they generally offer diverse and versatile search environments that introduce overwhelming numbers of independent variables to user studies. The article presents a formative inspection framework for the evaluation of advanced search interfaces.
In terms of professional merit, the paper is both systematic and articulate in its presentations. Three aspects are of particular noteworthiness: (1) the paper contains a detailed literature review and a synthesis of information seeking behavior models; (2) it introduces three faceted browsers and the evaluation framework used in the experiment; (3) the contribution of the paper emerges from its theoretical base in human-computer interaction and resides in its breadth and in its application of user-models of search interaction to evaluation of rich faceted search user interfaces. It is systematic in its approach. The paper is well presented, clear, direct, and understandable, and the argument and empirical content is well delineated.