The Texttiles browser: an experiment in rich-prospect browsing for text collections

  • Author / Creator
    Giacometti, Alejandro
  • Rich-prospect browsers aid research tasks by providing a meaningful representation of every item in a collection and tools to manipulate the display (Ruecker 2003). A number of rich-prospect browsers have been developed for exploring collections of items that can be represented visually. Several disciplines have recently shown interest in interfaces that attempt to leverage metadata in order to offer superior browsing environments. This thesis examines the potential of applying rich-prospect browsing principles to the exploration of text collections by taking advantage of the metadata-rich text collections that are available through the World Wide Web. It also introduces and assesses the Texttiles browser, an implementation of rich-prospect browsing designed specifically for exploring text collections. Fourteen students participated in a qualitative usability study that evaluated the browser through two different testing approaches in a variety of research tasks: Human-Computer Pragmatics (Anvik 2007) and Affordance Strength Model (Ruecker 2006b). Participants found the Texttiles browser to be a useful tool to explore text collections, understood how rich prospect browsing principles help explore collection, and were satisfied with the browser’s implementation of those principles. Participants also suggested some improvements to the browsers. The results of this study uncovered two new ideas regarding the importance of order and direct manipulation of the data. This thesis reinforces the rich-prospect browsing principles of meaningful representation, display manipulation, and prospect, and provides directions for future research.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Ruecker, Stan (English and Film Studies)
    • Brown, Susan (English and Theatre Studies, University of Guelph)
    • Rockwell, Geoffrey (Philosophy)