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

  • Neesha Kodagoda
  • B. L. William Wong
  • Nawaz Kahan
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5726)


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.


Low & high literacy users information search task information seeking behaviour characteristics 


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neesha Kodagoda
    • 1
  • B. L. William Wong
    • 1
  • Nawaz Kahan
    • 1
  1. 1.Interaction Design Centre School of Computing ScienceMiddlesex UniversityLondonUK

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