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Search User Interfaces by Marti A. Hearst

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1 The Design of Search User Interfaces

1.1. Keeping the Interface Simple

The job of the search user interface is to aid users in the expression of their information needs, in the formulation of their queries, in the understanding of their search results, and in keeping track of the progress of their information seeking efforts.

However, the typical search interface today is of the form type-keywords-in-entry-form, view-results-in-a-vertical-list. A comparison of a search results page from Google in 2007 to that of Infoseek in 1997 shows that they are nearly identical (see Figure 1.1). Why is the standard interface so simple? Some important reasons for the relative simplicity and unchanging nature of the standard Web search interface are:

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