The Future Is in the Past: Designing for Exploratory Search

Exploratory search activities tend to span multiple sessions and involve finding, analyzing and evaluating information found through many queries. Typical search systems, on the other hand, are designed to support single query, precision-oriented search tasks. We describe a search interface and system design of a multi-session exploratory search system, discuss design challenges encountered, and chronicle the evolution of our design. Our design describes novel displays for visualizing retrieval history information, and introduces ambient displays and persuasive elements to interactive information retrieval.


  • Gene Golovchinsky
    FX Palo Alto Laboratory, Inc.
  • Abdigani Diriye
    FX Palo Alto Laboratory, Inc.
  • Tony Dunnigan
    FX Palo Alto Laboratory, Inc.

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