Overview of Behaviour Characteristics of High and Low Literacy Users: Information Seeking of an Online Social Service System


We investigated the differences in information seeking behaviours between low and high literacy users on an on-line social service system called the “Adviseguide” website. Ten volunteers participated in the study. Using the UK’s National Skills for Life Survey, five were classified as high literate; five as low literate. Participants had four information search tasks that vary in difficulty: easy, medium and difficult. Observations, video recording, and a semi structured interview technique were used. The data were analysed using Grounded Theory and Emergent Themes Analysis approach. We identified eight information seeking behaviour characteristics; Reading/ Scanning, Focus, Satisfied, Verification, Recovery, Trajectories, Representation and Abandon. Results showed that low and high literacy users demonstrated critically different characteristics.