Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Exploratory Search or Cognitive Overload

I've been pretty quiet here on the blog recently. I hear that's what happens when you are writing up your thesis!

Anyway, recently I wrote about how cognitive load theory might help us understand any negative effects of adding more exploratory search features. The example I used was that faceted search might overload users with too much information, given all the metadata that is presented. Well I have written a technical report on it. So give it a read if you like!

1 comment:

Daniel Tunkelang said...

Nice paper. Though I wonder how feasible it is to estimate cognitive load in a general way. Most of the time, I see people measuring cognitive load physiologically or through saturation tests and then using regression tests to determine what factors in their particular experiment contributed to it.

For example, it seems obvious to me that making choices between incomparable options (i.e., where neither option dominates) is harder if the options are similar. But I'm not sure how to validate such an intuition without an objective way of measuring the similarity between options.

Anyway, get back to your thesis!