Supporting Information Search by Older Adults

H. van Oostendorp, S. Karanam

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


    Using cognitive models of web-navigation to generate support has
    long been a topic of research. In this paper, we address two lim-
    itations in this area. First, these models have so far been used to
    generate support for navigation within a website and not for inter-
    action with a search engine. Second, very few studies have looked
    at the usefulness of such model-generated support for older adults
    who are known to be less efficient than younger adults. An exper-
    iment with 24 younger and 24 older adults on six simple and six
    difficult information search tasks was conducted. Results showed
    that the semantic relevance of queries showed a decreasing trend
    across reformulations for older adults and remained constant for
    younger adults, indicating that as older adults reformulated, they
    produced queries that were further away from the target information,
    which could be the reason for their lower efficiency. Based on these
    outcomes, two types of model-generated support mechanisms for
    interaction with a search engine are proposed, one which visually
    highlights the most relevant search result given a query and the other
    which monitors the average semantic relevance of search results for
    a given query and warns the user if it falls below a threshold.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 34th European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics ECCE 2016
    Subtitle of host publicationSimulation, visualisation and digital technologies
    Place of PublicationNottingham
    Number of pages8
    ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-4244-5
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016


    • Aging
    • Cognitive model
    • Support
    • Information Search


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