FLAMENCO: Incorporating Metadata into Search UIs Marti Hearst UC Berkeley The Simplicity / Flexibility Tradeoff wizard hyperlinks text search Standard Search Few operators, but Many many input values (words) Results differ widely depending on the values used How to Control Flexibility? Focus on the task. The Importance of the Task Results from HCI suggest the importance of taking the task into account. Searching patent databases Proving non-infringement Browsing newsgroups Finding the denial-of-service hacker Getting all satellite news Anticipating the competition The Importance of the Task Example: How does Web page download time effect usability? In one study, Spool found: (56kbit modem) Users rated the sites: Amazon: 36 sec/page (avg) About.com: 8 sec/page (avg) Fastest: Amazon Slowest: About.com Why? The Importance of the Task Perceived speed Strong correlation between perceived speed and whether the users felt they completed their task Strong correlation between perceived speed and whether the users felt they always knew what to do next (scent). How to Incorporate the Task? Restrict Flexibility in motivated ways: Restrict collection: Vortals Restrict suggested search results: Previews Metadata types GeoRegion + Time/Date + Topic + Role Medical Metadata Types Anatomy + Disease + Trial Type + Pharmaceutical Two Approaches Use metadata to select a subset of the collection to search over Use metadata to suggest where to go next A simpler example (FindLaw) Only one topic – law Many different legal sources Slicing by Topic Only Generic search interface not enough No support for legal tasks Find prior art for patent infringement case Find weaknesses in the application of intellectual property law in the 6th circuit court of appeals Rather than search as usual across an intersection of metadata types … Information Previews: where to go next Task-Specific Preview Combinations A Simple Example Yahoo restaurant guide combines: Region Topic (restaurants) Related Information Other attributes (cuisines) Other topics related in place and time (movies) Yellow: geographic region Green: restaurants & attributes Red: related in place & time Combining Information Types Region State City A&E Film Theatre Music Restaurants Assumed task: looking for evening entertainment California Eclectic Indian French Other Possible Combinations Region + A&E City + Restaurant + Movies City + Weather City + Education: Schools Restaurants + Schools … Bookstore preview combinations topic + related topics topic + publications by same author topic + books of same type but related topic Pre-defined Sources Decide in advance which collections to show results from Places search results in context Problem: the same metadata is used for all queries Information previews Use the metadata to show where to go next More flexible than canned hyperlinks Less complex than full search Help users see and return to what happened previously Reduces mental work Recognition over recall Suggest alternatives The Importance of Informative Previews Jared Spool’s studies (www.uie.com) More clicks are ok if The “scent” of the target does not weaken If users feel they are going towards, rather than away, from their target. The Importance of Informative Previews How to indicate “scent”? Information organization reflects tasks Longer, more descriptive links Show category subtopic information Breadth vs. depth tradeoffs CNN categores (more scrolling) vs. Yahoo’s (more clicking) Menu studies Larson & Czerwinski study Intermediate breadth depth generally best vs. Problem with Previews Standard approaches Hand edited, predefined Not tailored to task as it develops Not personalized Not dynamic A new project: FLAMENCO FLexible Access using MEtadata in Novel COmbinations Main idea: Preview and postview information Determined dynamically and (semi) automatically, based on current task Flamenco: Dynamic Previews Medical example Allow user to select metadata in any order At each step, show different types of relevant metadata, based on prior steps and personal history, include # of documents Previews restricted to only those metadata types that might be helpful Asthma > Steroids 1. 2. A steroid-induced acute psychosis in a child with athsma. Management of steroid-dependent asthma with methotrexate. Steroids •Pregnanes • Pregnadienes (5) • Prednisone (5) • Pregnenes • Budesonide (4) • Corticosterone (3) Other Views • Admin & Dosage (50) • Drug Effects (20 • Therapeutic Use (25) • Risk Factors (4) • More … User Preferred • Musculoskeletal (4) •Drug Resistance (6) •All Categories (99) 99 Documents: [Sort by author] [Sort by popularity] [Sort by Steroids] [Cluster] 1. Effect of short-course budesonide on the bone turnover of asthmatic children. 2. Effect of prednisone on response to influenza virus vaccine in asthmatic children. … Asthma > Steroids > Admin & Dosage 1. Dosage levels for asthmatic steroids: A survey. Steroids •Pregnanes • Pregnadienes (3) • Prednisone (5) Related Categories •Inhalators (40) •Emotional Effects (25) •Preferred Suppliers (30) User Preferred • Musculoskeletal (0) •Drug Resistance (2) •All Categories (50) 50 Documents: [Sort by author] [Sort by popularity] [Sort by Dosage] [Cluster] 1. Optimal dosage levels for prednisone in the treatment of childhood asthma. 2. … Other paths: back up and go forward Asthma > Steroids Asthma > Steroids > Budesonide Asthma > Steroids > Budesonide > Huang Asthma > Huang > Budesonide Dynamic Metadata Previews How different from Yahoo & Amazon? Dynamically determine what to show next Yahoo’s combos are predefined Amazon’s are also predefined, and limited to taste and general topic only A way to seamlessly integrate Related topics User preferences (personalization) Context-sensitivity Evaluation Methodology Regression Test Select a set of tasks Start with a baseline system Use these throughout the evaluation Evaluate using the test tasks Add a feature Evaluation again Compare to baseline Only retain those changes that improve results Summary Standard search is too flexible Hyperlinks too restrictive Task-centric approaches Task-specific collections Flamenco: Showing next choices / previews Issues How to identify tasks? Given lots of task-specific UIs, how to find the right one?