This is an old news. Ya.
But, a new perspective. I felt I had done my 2 cent's worth by including Grokker's feature in Web search visualization. But, now I find Grokker is with EBSCO and moreover, incorporated in the library search menu (precisely for searching in EBSCOhost’s databases), as described below:
Visualization. This is what actually inspired this series of posts. I went to a demo recently of EBSCOhost’s cool new integration of Grokker (which my library supposedly has a trial subscription to, but it isn’t working right now). Grokker allows a multidimensional visual representation of search results, which includes clustering. If you’re not familiar with the concept, check out Grokker’s website. The whole thing is difficult to explain but incredibly simple to use. I wish Ebsco had adopted this 4 years ago; grad school would’ve been a whole lot easier.
The beauty of this type of visualization is manifold: It allows the user to see relationships. It allows the user to more easily refine searches based on immediate visual processing of results, and with other included tools like a time slider. It doesn’t require users to scan through page descriptions, which often are poorly written and not representative (less of a problem outside of the web). Most importantly, IT ISN’T UGLY, so users are more likely to use it. During the last usability study of my library’s website, users uniformly avoided using the “search this site” box because the results it returned were ugly and confusing, which is pretty difficult to avoid with text-based results. (I can’t even imagine the confusion they would’ve encountered had I tested them on our digital projects search engine; hopefullly we’ll be testing that later this year.) This is no way to treat users! continue reading @ digitize everything on searching Sweet Jesus, I hate (most) search interfaces! (part 2)
And the following news, re-read:
Grokker Visual Search Now Available via EBSCOhost®
My Webliography on Visual Catalogs:
My previous posts:
For Yahoo search results via Grokker