ASIST AM 03 2003 START ConferenceManager    

MULTITASKING WEB SEARCHING and IMPLICATIONS FOR DESIGN

Seda Ozmutlu, H. Cenk Ozmutlu, Amanda Spink

Presented at ASIST 2003 Annual Meeting -- Humanizing Information Technology: From Ideas to Bits and Back (ASIST AM 03 2003), Westin Long Beach, Long Beach, California, October 20 - 23, 2003


Abstract

We present findings from a study of users performing multitasking searches on Web search engines. A userís single session with a Web search engine may consist of seeking information on single or multiple topics. Limited research has focused on multitasking search and the implications for Web design. Incidence of multitasking search by FAST and Excite Web search engine users were filtered from transaction logs. Findings include: (1) multitasking Web searches are a noticeable user behavior, one tenth of Excite users and one third of FAST users perform multitasking searches (2) multitasking search sessions are longer than regular search sessions in terms of number of queries per session and duration (3) Both Excite and FAST users search for about three topics per multitasking session, and submit about 4-5 queries per topic. (4) there is a broad variety of search topics in multitasking search sessions. The implications or our findings for Web design and further research are discussed.


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