Help-Seeking Situation: Inability to reformulate search queries
Definition: This is a cognitive situation related to difficulty changing or modifying search statements, queries, or keyword terms for searching the DL to prompt an effective retrieval of items following an initial, failed search.
- Lack of Feedback
- Lack of Domain knowledge
Guideline or Design Recommendation
- Provide auto-suggestions for related words along with an instruction.
- Maintain the original query or provide the list of search term history. In case of “no results”, related term suggestions should provided.
Rationale and Objective: Due to the need for precision in search terms associated with controlled vocabulary in a DL search, search queries may require reformulation to locate relevant items in a DL. Auto-suggestions are a helpful way for users to determine relevant search queries. The presence of auto-suggestions should be recognized by BVI users and activated through the use of a keyboard. In case of “no results,” auto-suggestions might provide more related or relevant terms to support users.
Techniques, Methods, and Features
Techniques and Methods
- Implement auto-suggestions for related terms
- Provide instructions for auto-suggestions.
- Show suggestions directly below the search input field.
- Suggestions should be accessible by the keyboard manipulation
- Use ARIA markup to the input field so that BVI users can select auto-suggestions.
- Notice the number of available suggestions.
- Retaining the original query in the input field or showing search term history can be helpful for BVI users can modify it and know what previous search queries are.
- Related term suggestions might be given more in case of “no results” based on a different algorithm from that for normal cases.
- In designing auto-suggestions, a taxonomy/thesaurus can be used so that suggested terms should be related to an inputted search query. Mapping a general term into a controlled vocabulary term is critical in suggesting a related term working well for search.
- Enhanced related term suggestions (for no results)
- Previous query
- Search term history
- Related terms
- Auto-suggestions Instruction
- Auto-suggestions keyboard manipulation
- Relevant number of suggestions
- ARIA elements (e.g. aria-live, aria-activedescendant attribute, role, aria-autocomplete, aria-owns, aria-live)
- Controlled vocabulary
- aria-live=” assertive”
Cifcioglu, A. (2017). Anatomy of an Accessible Auto Suggest. https://uxmastery.com/anatomy-of-an-accessible-auto-suggest/
Babich, N. (2017). Best Practices for Search Results, https://uxplanet.org/best-practices-for-search-results-1bbed9d7a311
Hu, R., Lu, K. & Joo, S. (2013). Effects of topic familiarity and search skills on query reformulation behavior. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 50, 1-9.
WCAG 2.0 Guideline 3.3 Input assistance https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/#minimize-error
Xie, I. & Cool, C. (2009). Understanding help seeking within the context of searching digital libraries. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 60(3), 477-494.
Help-seeking Situations > Confusion about multiple programs and structures > Factors > System design > Lack of Feedback
Help-seeking Situations > Difficulty constructing or refining search statements > Factors > User factors > Lack of Domain knowledge