A Comparative Study of the Effectiveness of Search Result Presentation on the Web
Presentation of search results in Web-based information retrieval (IR) systems has been dominated by a textual form of information such as the title, snippet, URL, and/or file type of retrieved documents. On the other hand, document’s visual aspects such as the layout, colour scheme, or presence of images have been studied in a limited context with regard to their effectiveness of search result presentation. This paper presents a comparative evaluation of textual and visual forms of document summaries as the additional document surrogate in the search result presentation. In our study, a sentence-based summarisation technique was used to create a textual document summary, and the thumbnail image of web pages was used to represent a visual summary. The experimental results suggest that both have the cases where the additional elements contributed to a positive effect not only in users’ relevance assessment but also in query re/formulation. The results also suggest that the two forms of document summary are likely to have different contexts to facilitate user’s search experience. Therefore, our study calls for further research on adaptive models of IR systems to make use of their advantages in appropriate contexts.
KeywordsSearch Task Result List Search Interface Relevance Assessment Search Session
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