Incorporating Widget Positioning in Interaction Models of Search Behaviour

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Abstract

Models developed to simulate user interactions with search interfaces typically do not consider the visual layout and presentation of a Search Engine Results Page (SERP). In particular, the position and size of interfacewidgets ---such as entity cards and query suggestions---are usually considered a negligible constant. In contrast, in this work, we investigate the impact of widget positioning on user behaviour. To this end, we focus on one specific widget: the Query History Widget (QHW). It allows users to see (and thus reflect) on their recently issued queries. We build a novel simulation model based on Search Economic Theory (SET) that considers how users behave when faced with such a widget by incorporating its positioning on the SERP. We derive five hypotheses from our model and experimentally validate them based on user interaction data gathered for an ad-hoc search task, run across five different placements of the \qhw on the SERP. We find partial support for three of the five hypotheses, and indeed observe that a widget's location has a significant impact on search behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICTIR 2021 - Proceedings of the 2021 ACM SIGIR International Conference on Theory of Information Retrieval
Pages53-62
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-8611-1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventICTIR 2021: Proceedings of the 2021 ACM SIGIR International Conference on Theory of Information Retrieval - Virtual Event
Duration: 11 Jul 202111 Jul 2021

Publication series

NameICTIR 2021 - Proceedings of the 2021 ACM SIGIR International Conference on Theory of Information Retrieval

Conference

ConferenceICTIR 2021: Proceedings of the 2021 ACM SIGIR International Conference on Theory of Information Retrieval
Abbreviated titleICTIR '21
Period11/07/2111/07/21

Keywords

  • human computer interaction
  • interactive information retrieval
  • modeling and validation
  • search economic theory

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