The core value of search lies in providing effective access to the right piece of information in a timely manner. Traditionally, information retrieval systems have focused on retrieving the correct piece of information. In an effective search system, the following user-centric items play a key role in determining what right information and effective access mean:
Information retrieval systems such as Google Search perform extremely well when addressing results in the long tail. Addressing accessibility is about recognizing that user needs and abilities vary over time — said differently, accessibility is about serving users in the long tail. As we move toward an increasingly mobile world with users accessing the Web from a variety of devices and usage contexts, overall effectiveness of search systems is determined by the user's ability to complete a given task in a timely manner. In reaching this goal, information retrieval needs to match the result set with the user along a variety of axies. For example, consider the query:
Lufthansa 455a query for a specific flight.
In the age of information overload, the band-width between man and machine gets increasingly overloaded. Thus, the importance of search goes up directly as:
Accessible Search is about building information retrieval systems that take all of the above into account. I'd like us as a field to formally define the various axies along which we determine the right result to serve users appropriately.
Date: 2010-04-23 11:17:47 PDT
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