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Designing Novel Image Search Interfaces by Understanding Unique Characteristics and Usage

Publication Date
  • Design


In most major search engines, the interface for image search is the same as traditional Web search: a keyword query followed by a paginated, ranked list of results. Although many image search innovations have appeared in both the literature and on the Web, few have seen widespread use in practice. In this work, we explore the differences between image and general Web search to better support users’ needs. First, we describe some unique characteristics of image search derived through informal interviews with researchers, designers, and managers responsible for building and deploying a major Web search engine. Then, we present results from a large scale analysis of image and Web search logs showing the differences in user behaviour. Grounded in these observations, we present design recommendations for an image search engine supportive of the unique experience of image search. We iterate on a number of designs, and describe a functional prototype that we built.

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