Understanding Mobile Search Task Relevance and User Behaviour in Context

Mohammad Aliannejadi, Morgan Harvey, Luca Costa, Matthew Pointon, Fabio Crestani

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

27 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)


Improvements in mobile technologies have led to a dramatic change in how and when people access and use information, and is having a profound impact on how users address their daily information needs. Smart phones are rapidly becoming our main method of accessing information and are frequently used to perform “on-the-go” search tasks. As research into information retrieval continues to evolve, evaluating search behaviour in context is relatively new. Previous research has studied the effects of context through either self-reported diary studies or quantitative log analysis; however, neither approach is able to accurately capture context of use at the time of searching.

In this study, we aim to gain a better understanding of task relevance and search behaviour via a task-based user study (n=31) employing a bespoke Android app. The app allowed us to accurately capture the user’s context when completing tasks at different times of the day over the period of a week. Through analysis of the collected data, we gain a better understanding of how using smart phones on the go impacts search behaviour, search performance and task relevance and whether or not the actual context is an important factor.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2019 Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval
Subtitle of host publicationGlasgow, Scotland UK — March 10 - 14, 2019
Place of PublicationNew York, NY
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781450360258
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2019


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