Monthly Archives: July 2010

The Type Of Search Queries Seem to Matter

As mentioned earlier, this study examined whether the social web, such as Social Search Engine Aardvark, enhances user effectiveness, efficiency, satisfaction, and emotional state in terms of information retrieval.

One of the main findings of this study suggested that the type of queries seem to matter! Initially, it was planned to have three different difficulty levels of the search queries, such as easy, medium, and hard questions.

However, after speaking with one of the main influencers in this field, Damon Horowitz, some valuable feedback came to attention. One of the suggestions was to, instead of difficulty levels, have various dimensions to the query classifications instead.

As a result,  we included these three types of search query levels instead:
Objective, Subjective, and Combination queries.

It turned out that there were statistical significant relationships between the type of search queries and the type of search engines in terms of user efficiency, effectiveness, satisfaction, and emotion.

Here is how we came to define these dimensions…

-Objective Queries:
These were questions where the answers were purely objective. For example, if we were to ask “What is the train schedule from A to B?”, the answer would be objective. In other words, the answer would not be subjective to someone’s judgment and/or opinions but would purely be about an exchange of information.
-Subjective Queries:
These were purely subjective questions where the answer could vary from person to person. For example, if we were to ask: “Which is the best and the most recommended way to get from A to B?”, the answer would be subjective the opinion, likes, and dislikes of the answerer.
-Combination Queries:
These types of questions were neither entirely objective nor subjective. For example, if we asked “What is the fastest way to get from A to B by train or any other means?”, the answer would have to include both objective and subjective information. The objective part would be an objective component of the answer, such as the time of the train, and the subjective component of the answer, such as the answerer’s preference of getting from A to B.

Here are some of the sample  questions:

Objective Questions:
-Find the train schedule and the pricing for SJ to Oakland (or any other city/location)

-Find whether computers damage the eyes

-Find how to make charts in Excel
-Find entertaining places in Chicago
-Find appropriate microphone to use for making documentary movies
-Find some cool places in NYC
-Find some of the must-have music apps for iPhone
-Find schools for learning Spanish in the Bay Area
-Find if there are any differences among the glasses in perscription glasses
-Find some motorcycle roads in the Bay Area

Subjective Questions:

-Who are some of the best guitar teachers in the Bay Area and where can we find them? What are their rates and what can you tell me about them?
-Find one of the best recommended Asian cooking classes in San Jose that is very health conscious and emphasizes on organic ingredients
-Find the best recommended video games for $50 or less
-Find the best recommended Karate teacher in the Bay Area that offers  lessons for all ages and is also great for all ages
-Find the best recommended (and the cheapest) Art museums in San Jose
-Find the best and top-rated LA attractions from an insiders and local perspective. No tourist attractions!
-Find the best activities to do during one week vacation in San Diego.  No tourist attractions!
-Find the best recommended upcoming Action Movies that are played (or will be shown) in the Bay Area
-Find the best recommended books/resources to learn about SF history. Not your main stream books and resources
-Find the best recommended Black Berry music apps that you can use with your guitar
-Find the best places to visit in Beverly Hills. No tourist attractions!
-Find the best Island in Hawaii for scuba diving that is not too expensive, not too quiet, and not too touristic
-Find best kindergarding programs and the best places to live in the Bay Area as a kindergarden teacher
-Find the best recommended scenic Bike roads from LA and Santa Barbara with least traffic. It needs to be the most cost/fuel efficient