Wednesday, December 09, 2009

What we want web-wise

Tim Jones will talk on "Using Firefox and JavaScript to Combat Apathy among Experiment Participants" at the ANU, 10 December 2009. This work has wide applicability to anyone wanting to find out what people like to look at on the web. I recommend the talk for government and commercial web practitioners, as well as academics and researchers.

It is good to see someone is worrying about real research, while the rest of us are at the government broadband talk-fest in Sydney. ;-)

Seminar Announcement

School of Computer Science, CECS
The Australian National University

Date: Thursday, 10 December 2009
Time: 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Venue: Room N101, CSIT Building [108]

Speaker: Tim Jones

Title: Using Firefox and JavaScript to Combat Apathy among
Experiment Participants

A simple way to conduct web search quality experiments is
to log user behaviour when using a new front end (that we
provide) to a commercial web search engine. Unfortunately,
users tend to stop using these new front ends after the
initial novelty period has worn off. This makes it difficult
to collect data about real user behaviour when using web
search engines.

In this talk, we firstly describe the widely used experimental
framework that users seem to stop using. Next, we investigate
this drop off in user participation, discuss some probable
reasons, and then present a couple of ways one might alter
the experiment design to ensure users continue to participate.
We then illustrate the design and construction of a Firefox
addon to augment search engine result pages. The addon is
written in JavaScript using the popular jQuery library, which
makes data acquisition very simple. The talk will include
a quick jQuery primer, as it is a useful tool for anyone
wanting to manipulate or extract information from web pages.

Timothy Jones is a PhD student in the ANU Department of
Computer Science. His primary research interest is Information
Retrieval, but he also enjoys a piece of cake and a good cup
of tea. ...

From: Using Firefox and JavaScript to Combat Apathy among Experiment Participants, ANU School of Computer Science, 2009

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