Clarifying Search

A User-Interface Framework for Text Searches


Ben Shneiderman

Department of Computer Science and Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory, University of Maryland, College Park

Don Byrd and W. Bruce Croft

Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval, University of Massachusetts at Amherst


Abstract: Current user interfaces for textual database searching leave much to be desired: individually, they are often confusing, and as a group, they are seriously inconsistent. We propose a four-phase framework for user-interface design: the framework provides common structure and terminology for searching while preserving the distinct features of individual collections and search mechanisms. Users will benefit from faster learning, increased comprehension, and better control, leading to more effective searches and higher satisfaction.