Towards universal search design
Sitbon, Laurianne, Fell, Lauren, Poxon, David, Zhang, Jinglan, & Geva, Shlomo (2014) Towards universal search design. In Proceedings of the 2014 Australasian Document Computing Symposium, ACM, Melbourne, Australia.
For people with cognitive disabilities, technology is more often thought of as a support mechanism, rather than a source of division that may require intervention to equalize access across the cognitive spectrum. This paper presents a first attempt at formalizing the digital gap created by the generalization of search engines. This was achieved through the development of a mapping of cognitive abilities required by users to execute low- level tasks during a standard Web search task. The mapping demonstrates how critical these abilities are to successfully use search engines with an adequate level of independence. It will lead to a set of design guidelines for search engine interfaces that will allow for the engagement of users of all abilities, and also, more importantly, in search algorithms such as query suggestion and measure of relevance (i.e. ranking).
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