Highlighting - Or Why Google Is That Successful


In today’s information society, searching for information or for functions of a software application is one of the most frequent tasks. Still, visual search tasks are reported to be associated with low efficiency and user satisfaction. A simple method to improve search performance is highlighting. With the current experiment we investigate if search performance and user satisfaction can be significantly improved by presenting an optimal density of highlighted items. As the results of the eye-tracking experiment yielded, presenting 15 percent of highlighted items on a display improved search speed, accuracy, as well as user satisfaction in contrast to presenting no highlighted items or 49 percent. The results are discussed regarding their practical impact, design implications, and regarding emerging questions for future research.

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@inproceedings{KickmeierRust2005HighlightingO, title={Highlighting - Or Why Google Is That Successful}, author={Michael D. Kickmeier-Rust and Dietrich Albert}, booktitle={Usability Symposium}, year={2005} }