logo SIGIR 2010 Workshop on Accessible Search Systems
in conjunction with the 33rd Annual ACM SIGIR Conference (SIGIR 2010)
Geneva, 23 July 2010

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The organisers are pleased to announce two invited speakers who will present at the workshop:

Dr. T.V. Raman Senior Research Scientist at Google Labs

Toward More Accessible Search

Information retrieval systems such as Google Search perform extremely well when addressing results in the long tail. Addressing accessibility is about recognizing that user needs and abilities vary over time — said differently, accessibility is about serving users in the long tail. As we move toward an increasingly mobile world with users accessing the Web from a variety of devices and usage contexts, overall effectiveness of search systems is determined by the user's ability to complete a given task in a timely manner. In reaching this goal, information retrieval needs to match the result set with the user along a variety of axies. For example, consider the query:

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a query for a specific flight.

  1. On a desktop, one might serve up a detailed Web page showing flight tracking,status and , available future travel.
  2. On a mobile device,one might show a light-weight version of the above.
  3. When using a voice-only interface, one might only speak the current flight status.

In the age of information overload, the band-width between man and machine gets increasingly overloaded. Thus, the importance of search goes up directly as:

  1. user's attention span goes down.
  2. User's display size goes down.
  3. User's network band-width goes down.

Accessible Search is about building information retrieval systems that take all of the above into account. I'd like us as a field to formally define the various axies along which we determine the right result to serve users appropriately.

Dr. Allison Druin Director of the Human-Computer Interaction Lab at the University of Maryland

Searching for the Future: Understanding Children's Challenges, Actions, and Roles in Searching

“I don’t know where it is!” “I never find the stuff I’m looking for... ” “Maybe I can find the Vice President’s birthday in the SpongeBob Square-Pants website?” These are all responses we have received from 7, 9, or 11 year old children that have been searching online at home. In this talk, I will present seven search roles children display as information seekers using Internet keyword interfaces, based on a home study of 83 children. These roles are defined not only by the children’s search actions, but also by who influences their searching, their perceived success, and trends in age and gender. These roles suggest a need for new interfaces that expand the notion of keywords, scaffold results, and develop a search culture among children. Future interfaces for mobile phones, netbooks, and more will be discussed.