Exploring the navigational faceted search
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Today we have access to a broad range of information right at our fingertips. For decades, the technology for information retrieval has assisted humans in information seeking. While the conventional search approaches work well in retrieving information when the user knows what information to look for, user studies show that the user has a harder time finding relevant information when the user wants to discover new information about a specific topic. Much work has been done in the library domain in the attempt to describe features and relationships between different bibliographic entities, such as in the FRBR model. However, usage of these models in real-world applications has been less systematically explored and users still experience difficulties scanning through a long list of information. Luckily in recent years, faceted search has become increasingly common in online information access, including bibliographic catalogues, and more effort is being put into the design of the user interface, addressing the weaknesses in conventional search approaches. The thesis starts with giving the reader an introduction to theory around faceted search and look at some successful design patterns for search applications. Further, the implementation made and the functionality will be explained on the search application BIBSURF, with an information collection organized by the FRBR model. Finally, the researcher examines how the different filtering strategies perform, both by analyzing use cases and perform user studies. To conclude, the ultimate goal of this thesis is to provide future practitioners on this topic a contribution of a usability study to explore the quality of the user interface of search applications supporting non-professional searchers in rich information seeking tasks.