Eye tracking in MSN Search: Investigating snippet length, target position and task types

3 January 2008 at 14:44 Leave a comment

A Microsoft Research report using eye tracking techniques to investigate user strategies for web search.

How people respond to search results when the target is systematically manipulated to be displayed at different positions on two kinds of search tasks and found that users seem to exhibit an implicit trust for the rank generated by the search engine, particularly for informational tasks.

How varying the amount of information in Web search results affected user performance on the same tasks.

As the length of the query-dependent contextual snippet in search results was increased, performance improved for informational queries, while it degraded for navigational queries.

Eye tracking results suggest this difference in performance was due to the fact that as the snippet length increased, users paid more attention to the snippet and less attention to the URL located at the bottom of the search result.

Web search is a very attractive domain for the use of eye tracking techniques.

There are many kinds of metadata that are potentially useful for Web search. How can this information be presented to users in such a way that is complementary to existing information in search results?


Entry filed under: search interface. Tags: , , , .

Google PSE or Google’s Semantic Web The seven deadly sins of site search according to Vivisimo

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