Task management support in information seeking: A case for search histories

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reports the results of an extensive user study that examined information seekers' use of their memory and externally recorded search histories in searching for and using information in the legal domain. The ultimate goal of the research is to design search-history-based user interface tools to support information seeking. The results reported here focus on the management of complex information-seeking tasks. Computers can automatically record human-computer interaction events, allow the user to manipulate this information, and provide it back to the searcher through the user interface. In order to understand how this information can best support information seekers, the role of users' internal and external memory processes was examined using qualitative research methods (observations, interviews, and participatory user interface design sessions). The data collected were analyzed to identify potential task areas where search histories can support information seeking and use. The results show that many information-seeking tasks can take advantage of automatically and manually recorded history information. One of these areas is described in this paper: the management of complex tasks. Results of the study from the legal user group presented evidence of the utility of search histories and history-based interface tools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-184
Number of pages22
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2004


  • Attorneys
  • Information retrieval
  • Legal information
  • Search histories
  • Search user interfaces
  • User study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)

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