Interactive Visual Facets to Support Fluid Exploratory Search

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-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 ofthe information space. To do this, we reviewed existing faceted search inter- faces and derived two design requirements (DR) that have not been fully addressed to support 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 ofusing facets to select items without filtering the item space. Three applications demonstrate how the features support information discovery with ease. A user study of11 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
JournalJournal of Visualization
Publication statusIn preparation - 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

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

Cite this