Characterizing Search Behavior in Productivity Software

Bota, H., Fourney, A., Dumais, S. T., Religa, T. L. and Rounthwaite, R. (2018) Characterizing Search Behavior in Productivity Software. In: 2018 Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval, New Brunswick, NJ, USA, 11-15 Mar 2018, pp. 160-169. ISBN 9781450349253 (doi:10.1145/3176349.3176395)

158450.pdf - Accepted Version



Complex software applications expose hundreds of commands to users through intricate menu hierarchies. One of the most popular productivity software suites, Microsoft Office, has recently developed functionality that allows users to issue free-form text queries to a search system to quickly find commands they want to execute, retrieve help documentation or access web results in a unified interface. In this paper, we analyze millions of search sessions originating from within Microsoft Office applications, collected over one month of activity, in an effort to characterize search behavior in productivity software. Our research brings together previous efforts in analyzing command usage in large-scale applications and efforts in understanding search behavior in environments other than the web. Our findings show that users engage primarily in command search, and that re-accessing commands through search is a frequent behavior. Our work represents the first large-scale analysis of search over command spaces and is an important first step in understanding how search systems integrated with productivity software can be successfully developed.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:BOTA, HORATIU-SORIN
Authors: Bota, H., Fourney, A., Dumais, S. T., Religa, T. L., and Rounthwaite, R.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering
Journal Name:Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Human Information Interaction&Retrieval - CHIIR '18
Publisher:ACM Press
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Association for Computing Machinery
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record