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re-finding

re-finding

In Proceedings of UIST 2007
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The re:search engine: simultaneous support for finding and re-finding (p. 23-32)

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Re-finding, a common Web task, is difficult when previously viewed information is modified, moved, or removed. For example, if a person finds a good result using the query "breast cancer treatments", she expects to be able to use the same query to locate the same result again. While re-finding could be supported by caching the original list, caching precludes the discovery of new information, such as, in this case, new treatment options. People often use search engines to simultaneously find and re-find information. The Re:Search Engine is designed to support both behaviors in dynamic environments like the Web by preserving only the memorable aspects of a result list. A study of result list memory shows that people forget a lot. The Re:Search Engine takes advantage of these memory lapses to include new results where old results have been forgotten.

In Proceedings of UIST 2009
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Changing how people view changes on the web (p. 237-246)

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The Web is a dynamic information environment. Web content changes regularly and people revisit Web pages frequently. But the tools used to access the Web, including browsers and search engines, do little to explicitly support these dynamics. In this paper we present DiffIE, a browser plug-in that makes content change explicit in a simple and lightweight manner. DiffIE caches the pages a person visits and highlights how those pages have changed when the person returns to them. We describe how we built a stable, reliable, and usable system, including how we created compact, privacy-preserving page representations to support fast difference detection. Via a longitudinal user study, we explore how DiffIE changed the way people dealt with changing content. We find that much of its benefit came not from exposing expected change, but rather from drawing attention to unexpected change and helping people build a richer understanding of the Web content they frequent.