Interactive Visual Facets to Support Fluid Exploratory Search

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


Exploratory search starts with ill-defined goals and involves browsing, learning, and formulating new targets for search. To fluidly support such dynamic search behaviours, we focus on devising interactive visual facets (IVF), visualising information facets to support user comprehension and control of the information space. To do this, we reviewed existing faceted search interfaces and derived two design requirements (DR) that have not been fully addressed to sup- port fluid interactions in exploratory search. We then exemplified the requirements through devising an IVF tool, which coordinates a linear and a categorical facet representing the distribution and summarisation of items, respectively, and providing context for faceted exploration (DR1). To support rapid transitions between search criteria (DR2), the tool introduces a novel design concept of using facets to select items without filtering the item space. Particularly, we propose a filter-swipe technique that enables users to drag a categorical facet value sequentially over linear facet bars to view the items in the intersection of the two facets along with the categorical facet dynamically summarizing the items in the interaction. A user study of 11 participants with realistic email search tasks shows that dynamic suggestions through the timeline navigation can help discover useful suggestions for search; the novel design concept was favoured over using facet values as filters. Based on these practices, we derive IVF design implications for fluid, exploratory searches.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVINCI 2021: The 14th International Symposium on Visual Information Communication and Interaction
EditorsKarsten Klein, Michael Burch, Daniel Limberger, Matthias Trapp
Publication date27 Nov 2021
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-8647-0
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2021
MoE publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
EventInternational Symposium on Visual Information Communication and Interaction - Potsdam, Germany
Duration: 6 Sept 20217 Sept 2021
Conference number: 14

Fields of Science

  • 113 Computer and information sciences
  • exploratory search
  • information facets
  • fluid interaction

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