A large-scale study of information needs by Karen Church

Event details

  • When: 5th March 2012 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Phys Theatre C
  • Series: CS Colloquia Series
  • Format: Colloquium, Seminar

In recent years, mobile phones have evolved from simple communication devices to sophisticated personal computers enabling anytime, anywhereaccess to a wealth of information. Understanding the types of information needs that occur while mobile and how these needs are addressed is crucial in order to design and develop novel services that are tailored to mobile users.

To date, studies exploring information needs, in particular mobile needs, have been relatively small in terms of scope, scale and duration. The goal of this work is to investigate information needs on a much larger-scale and to explore, through quantitative analysis, how those needs are addressed.To this end, we conducted one of the most comprehensive studies of information needs to date, spanning a 3-month period and involving over 100 users. The study employed an intelligent experience sampling algorithm, an online diary and SMS technology to gather insights into the types of needs that occur from day to day.

Our results not only complement earlier studies but also shed new light on the differences between mobile and non-mobile information needs as well as the impact of demographics like gender have on the types of needs that arise and on the means chosen to satisfy those needs. Finally, we point to a number of design implications for enriching the future experiences of mobile users based on our findings..

Karen Church is a researcher within Telefonica Research in Barcelona,Spain. She received her PhD in Computer Science from UniversityCollege Dublin, Ireland in 2008. Here PhD thesis was entitled, “A
Study of Mobile Internet Usage and Implications for Mobile Search Interfaces”. Karen’s research interests include the mobile Web and mobile search space, personalization and social applications in a
mobile setting, mobile HCI, mobile user experience and mobile interfaces. Karen’s was awarded a Marie Curie Fellowship in 2010. The fellowship involves investigating future mobile information access
behaviours and trends. Her current research focus is on social mobile search services.