"Mirror, mirror on my search...": Data-Driven Reflection and Experimentation with Search Behaviour

Angela Fessl, Aitor Apaolaza, Ann Gledson, Viktoria Pammer-Schindler, Markel Vigo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

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Searching on the web is a key activity for working and learning purposes. In this work, we aimed to motivate users to reflect on their search behaviour, and to experiment with different search functionalities. We implemented a widget that logs user interactions within a search platform, mirrors back search behaviours to users, and prompts users to reflect about it. We carried out two studies to evaluate the impact of such widget on search behaviour: in Study 1 (N = 76), participants received screenshots of the widget including reflection prompts while in Study 2 (N = 15), a maximum of 10 search tasks were conducted by participants over a period of two weeks on a search platform that contained the widget. Study 1 shows that reflection prompts induce meaningful insights about search behaviour. Study 2 suggests that, when using a novel search platform for the first time, those participants who had the widget prioritised search behaviours over time. The incorporation of the widget into the search platform after users had become familiar with it, however, was not observed to impact search behaviour. While the potential to support un-learning of routines could not be shown, the two studies suggest the widget’s usability, perceived usefulness, potential to induce reflection and potential to impact search behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEuropean Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning (EC-TEL)
PublisherSpringer Nature
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Sep 2019


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