Task embedded visualisation: the design for an interactive IR results display for journalists

S Attfield, Ann Blandford, B Craft
in Proceedings: Eighth International Conference on Information Visualisation IV 2004: 14 - 16 July 2004, London, England, Conference paper (text), Los Alamitos, US


There is need for user-centred visualisation research to engage with the activity context, information needs, knowledge and abilities of target user-groups. With a focus on the work of journalists, we first argue for information-retrieval results visualisation as a suitable browsing framework for journalists' frequently ill-defined needs and high-recall searches. We then describe the design and rationale for a histogram-based visualisation for journalists. We also describe the integration of this idea within a system that structures searching as a two-step query-and-filter operation. This approach is intended to support initial exploratory browsing and refinement in a way that is sympathetic to the systematic focusing that naturally occurs during complex, unstructured task performance. Further, the use of an enduring 'base' results set is intended to encourage structural familiarity with the broader results and therefore to enhance navigation.