More from Morville’s Ambient Findability

May 23, 2006 at 1:17 pm Leave a comment

More notes from Ambient Findability by Peter Morville.

p.47 discussing our media landscape, The way we experience the message is shaped by the medium.  And the ways we define information are shaped by the properties of that medium and the context we use. 

p.50 defining information retrieval metrics, precision = number of relevant and retrieved/total number retrieved; recall = number of relevent and retrieved/total number relevant…recall falls dramatically as the collection increases in size.

p.52 power laws show up in complex networks that exhibit self-organization and emergent behavior.  Language happens to be one of those networks….percision drops prcipitously as full-text retrieval systems grow larger.

p.54 For as long as humans use language to communicate, information retrieval will remain a messy imperfect business.

p.55 Zipf and the 'principle of least effort' each individual will adopt a course of action that will involve the expenditure of the probably least average of his work (by definition, least effort).  Why visit the library when Google's on your desktop? 

p.55 Herbert Simon coined the terms "satiscfice" under conditions of "bounded rationality."  Check out the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. People are not perfect nor perfectly predictable.  Any model that assumes otherwise is doomed to failure.

p.55 people will not seek information that makes their jobs harder (even if it may benefit the organization they work for).

p.56 Don Norman "emotional design" – attractive things work better.  "Mind wide open" Stephen Johnson.  Neuroscience and evolutionary psychology.  Nigel Nicholson (1998) although human beings today inhabit a thoroughly modern world of space exploration and virtual realities, they do so with the ingrained mentality of Stone Age hunter-gatherers.

p.57 …perhaps retrieval isnt the best word to describe the myriad ways we interact with information today.  After all, thanks to Moore's Law our environment has changed dramatically since the days of punch cards and mainframes.  And in keeping with Mooers' Law, we are more willing to embrace the social and psychological dimensions of information seeking behavior.

p.58 Nahum Gershon coined the phrase "Human Information Interaction (HII)" = how human beings interact with, relate to, and process information regardless of the medium connecting the two."  – huh, I had a brief flash of the concept of invariant representation from On intelligence, by Hawkins, where he describes the way the brain interacts with the world. It’s all about feedback. When one of the senses encounters a stimulus, it is compared to a stored pattern, an invariant representation.

p.59 The unstructure, complex problem-solving task of information seeking cannot be reduced in a predictable way to a set of routine Goals, Operators, Methods, and Selections (GOMS), typical of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) approaches. HII approaches are optimal for networked information systems where control is sacrificed for interoperability.

p.59 Marcia J. Bates, in "The design of Browsing and Berrypicking Techniques for the Online Search Interface," emphasized the itterative and interactive nature of information seeking. Foraging theory, information scent. See also, "Why Google makes people leave your site faster" by Jakob Nielsen, and others.


Entry filed under: Ambient Findability, feed my pet brain.

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