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Effective search results summary size and device size: is there a relationship?

Sweeney, S.O. and Crestani, F. (2006) Effective search results summary size and device size: is there a relationship? Information Processing and Management, 42 (4). pp. 1056-1074. ISSN 0306-4573

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In recent years, small screen devices have seen widespread increase in their acceptance and use. Combining mobility with increased technological advances many such devices can now be considered mobile information terminals. However, user interactions with small display devices remain a challenge due to the inherent input restrictions and limited display capabilities. These challenges are particularly evident for tasks, such as information seeking. For the presentation of retrieval results we consider that a personalised and context dependent approach could offer benefits, particularly for retrieving information in a non-traditional environment. As a starting point, in this paper we report an investigation into the effects of summary length as a function of screen size, where query-biased summaries are used to present retrieval results. Following a brief description of our proposed system, we report a user study aimed at exploring whether there is an optimal summary size for three types of device (smartphone, PDA and laptop), given their different screen sizes.