The primary contributions of this dissertation are to introduce a framework that can be used to design information seeking interfaces and to demonstrate that interfaces informed by this framework can improve the information seeking experience. The AgileViews framework is based on the natural and intuitive concept of views. Just as we instinctually and continually shift our focus of attention from one source of information to another to accomplish tasks and respond to stimuli in the physical world, the AgileViews framework suggests that information seeking interfaces can be improved by presenting digital information in structured, intuitive views (overviews, previews, history views, shared views, primary views, and peripheral views) and enabling users effortless interaction between these views. The practical use of this framework is illustrated in this dissertation through examples of three different prototype systems designed with the AgileViews framework.
The AgileViews framework was evaluated by conducting a two-phase user study with 28 participants. Results from the study showed that an interface developed according to the AgileViews framework does improve the user experience during information seeking, as evidenced from both objective, quantitative data and from more subjective participant impressions. Specifically, the results demonstrate that an AgileViews interface can increase the navigational efficiency and the satisfaction of people when using an information seeking system, while also encouraging them to explore the system and to be more thorough in their information seeking tasks.
Wildemuth, B. M., Yang, M., Geisler, G., Tolleson, T., Elsas, J., Luo, J., & Marchionini, G.(2004).Conceptions of features and semantic clusters as search mechanisms: A pilot study.TREC VID Notebook Paper.
Search mechanisms are the interface tools that people can use to search the items in a collection; a common example is a text box for entering search terms. In this pilot study, the Open Video team investigated two mechanisms for providing access to a collection of news videos. The first provided direct access to the subsets of the collection containing particular video features, as identified by other TREC VID participants; the second provided direct access to the subsets of the collection that were identified as semantic clusters, using latent semantic indexing approaches to analyzing the video transcripts. Each access mechanism was depicted in the interface as a series of labeled checkboxes. In the pilot study, four team members completed the TREC VID topic searches and responded to measures of their perceptions of the experience of using each search mechanism. Reasonably high precision was achieved on the user searches across all three systems (0.67-0.74), but none of the systems achieved high recall (0.10-0.11). Mean average precision across three runs (as calculated by NIST) ranged from 0.06-0.09. Searches were completed in approximately 8 minutes across all three systems. User satisfaction with the two experimental systems was mixed. Lessons learned from conducting this pilot study will contribute to the design of a follow-up study investigating the ways in which users of digital video retrieval systems conceptualize search mechanisms that incorporate access to subsets of the collection based on video features or semantic clusters of transcript content.
Wildemuth, B.M., Marchionini, G., Wilkens, T., Yang, M., Geisler, G., Fowler, B., Hughes, A., & Mu, X.(2002).Alternative surrogates for video objects in a digital library: Users' perspectives on their relative usability. In Proceedings of the 6th European Conference on Digital Libraries.
In a digital environment, it is feasible to integrate multimedia materials into a library collection with ease. However, it seems likely that non-textual surrogates for multimedia objects, e.g., videos, could effectively augment textual representations of those objects. In this study, five video surrogates were evaluated in relation to their usefulness and usability in accomplishing specific tasks. The surrogates (storyboards with text or audio keywords, slide shows with text or audio keywords, fast forward) were created for each of seven video segments. Ten participants, all of whom watch videos at least monthly and search for videos at least occasionally, viewed the surrogates for seven video segments and provided comments about the strengths and weaknesses of each. In addition, they performed a series of tasks (gist determination, object recognition, action recognition, and visual gist determination) with three surrogates selected from those available. No surrogate was universally judged 'best,' but the fast forward surrogate garnered the most support, particularly from experienced video users. The participants expressed their understanding of video gist as composed of three components: topicality, the story of the video, and the visual gist of the video. They identified several real-world tasks for which they regularly use video collections. The viewing compaction rates used in these surrogates supported adequate performance, but users expressed a desire for more control over surrogate speed and sequencing. Further development of these surrogates is warranted by these results, as well as the development of mechanisms for surrogate display.
Other Lab Studies
How Do People Describe Online Video?
A total of 32 study participants were asked to view four different video resources (from a pool of eight videos in total), answering six questions for each video that elicit descriptions of the video in various ways.
AgileViews Dissertation Study.
Twenty-eight participants completed tasks with two information seeking interfaces providing access to the same resources. Performance with the two interfaces was measured in terms of navigational efficiency, task completion time, navigational backtracking, and task success, as well as several qualitative measures.
Conceptions of features and semantic clusters as search mechanisms: A pilot study.
Four team members completed TREC VID topic searches and responded to measures of their perceptions of the experience of using each search mechanism.
Alternative surrogates for video objects in a digital library: Users' perspectives on their relative usability.
Ten participants viewed several forms of video preview surrogates (storyboards with text or audio keywords, slide shows with text or audio keywords, fast forward) for seven video segments and performed a series of tasks (gist determination, object recognition, action recognition, and visual gist determination) to measure understanding and preferences.