Searching on the Go: The Effects of Fragmented Attention on Mobile Web Search Tasks

Harvey, Morgan and Pointon, Matthew (2017) Searching on the Go: The Effects of Fragmented Attention on Mobile Web Search Tasks. In: The 40th International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval, 7 - 11 August 2017, Tokyo, Japan.

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Smart phones and tablets are rapidly becoming our main method of accessing information and are frequently used to perform on-the-go search tasks. Mobile devices are commonly used in situations where attention must be divided, such as when walking down a street. Research suggests that this increases cognitive load and, therefore, may have an impact on performance. In this work we conducted a laboratory experiment with both device types in which we simulated everyday, common mobile situations that may cause fragmented attention, impact search performance and affect user perception.

Our results showed that the fragmented attention induced by the simulated conditions significantly affected both participants' objective and perceived search performance, as well as how hurried they felt and how engaged they were in the tasks. Furthermore, the type of device used also impacted how users felt about the search tasks, how well they performed and the amount of time they spent engaged in the tasks. These novel insights provide useful information to inform the design of future interfaces for mobile search and give us a greater understanding of how context and device size affect search behaviour and user experience.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: mobile search; fragmented attention; search experience; cognition; user study; experimentation
Subjects: G400 Computer Science
G500 Information Systems
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
Depositing User: Morgan Harvey
Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2017 09:50
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 09:22

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