How Can IR Help Mechanisms Be More Helpful to Users?


The Help system is often the only resource that users can consult when they are faced with problems associated with the use of IR systems of all types, including web search engines, digital libraries, online databases, and other systems. Despite the importance of Help systems in interactive IR, people use this resource infrequently, for a variety of reasons that are not fully understood. In this paper we report results of a study designed to investigate users’ perceptions of the overall importance of IR Help systems; the frequency with which they use them; evaluations of the helpfulness of various Help functions; and reasons for not using Help systems at all. Fifty participants completed a self-administered questionnaire which contained structured and open-ended questions about IR Help systems, along with other background questions about the respondents.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Cool2005HowCI, title={How Can IR Help Mechanisms Be More Helpful to Users?}, author={Colleen Cool}, year={2005} }