My first conference paper for 2012 on “Human–Computer Interaction: The Impact of Users’ Cognitive Styles on Query Reformulation Behaviour During Web Searching” has been accepted as a long paper for the OzCHI 2012 with overall rating of ‘Strong Accept’ from the reviewers. This paper is co-authored with my supervisors, Assoc Professor Dian Tjondronegoro, Professor Helen Partridge and Professor Sylvia Edwards. OzCHI (Australasian conference on computer-human interaction) is Australia’s leading forum for work in all areas of Human-Computer Interactions. OzCHI 2012 will be held at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, 26-30 November.
This paper discusses users’ query reformulation behaviour while searching information on the Web. Query reformulations have emerged as an important component of Web search behaviour and human-computer interaction (HCI) because a user’s success of information retrieval (IR) depends on how he or she formulates queries. There are various factors, such as cognitive styles, that influence users’ query reformulation behaviour. Understanding how users with different cognitive styles formulate their queries while performing Web searches can help HCI researchers and information systems (IS) developers to provide assistance to the users. This paper aims to examine the effects of users’ cognitive styles on their query reformation behaviour.
A total of 3613 search terms and 872 search queries were submitted by 50 participants who engaged in 150 scenario-based search tasks. Riding’s (1991) Cognitive Style Analysis (CSA) test was used to assess users’ cognitive style as wholist or analytic, and verbaliser or imager. The study findings show that users’ query reformulation behaviour is affected by their cognitive styles. The results reveal that analytic users tended to prefer Add queries while all other users preferred New queries. A significant difference was found among wholists and analytics in the manner they performed Remove query reformulations. Future HCI researchers and IS developers can utilize the study results to develop interactive and user-cantered search model, and to provide context-based query suggestions for users. An accepted version of the conference paper can be downloaded from QUT Eprint.
My other publication in preparation is a journal paper “Modeling Users’ Web Search Behaviour and Cognitive Styles” to be submitted to the Journal of American Society for Information Science and Technology (JASIST).