New York, May 18, 2004
WORKSHOP PROGRAM: Papers and Presentations
Call for Papers for Special Issue of JWE


The goal of this workshop is to bring the users of the Web into focus by bringing together researchers, developers, and information managers to discuss both how to measure Web search effectiveness from the user perspective and how to use this information to build better Web systems. We plan to open a conduit so that results from research make their way into new Web systems at the same time as development problems are brought to the attention of the research community.

This workshop focuses on the user experience in seeking information on the Web. We will explore the effectiveness of retrieval tools for users seeking information on the Web, where the data set is extremely large and heterogeneous with respect to content, structure, and quality. The goal is to reflect on the impact of the user experience on the design and development of new Web systems and tools.

Note for Presenters

There will be a projector in the room and at least one laptop. If you do not bring your own please bring your presentation on CD or memory stick so we can load it onto one of the laptops. Try to keep your presentation to less than 10 minutes so we can engage in discussion!

Workshop Description

While we have learned a great deal about creating large document spaces and accessing these spaces, we know relatively little about the users who deal with a multi-billion-page Web. Further research is needed to address the user issues related to effectiveness and quality of experience when interacting with Web search engines. The recent intensity of work on personalization and filtering for pre and post search processing highlight the gulf that remains for users. The semantic Web initiative holds promise of better categorization of content but does not address issues of evaluating human interaction with Web search engines, including the usability and effectiveness of search tools.

Metrics and methodologies have been developed by the Information Retrieval and Web communities to assess the effectiveness of large homogeneous retrieval systems. However, new measures are needed for Web retrieval that go beyond recall and precision and that are more user-centric. In the proposed WWW Workshop we address issues of evaluating the effectiveness of retrieval tools for users seeking information on the Web, where the data set is extremely large and heterogeneous with respect to content, structure, and quality.

The proposed Workshop will be a multi-disciplinary forum of presentations and discussions of theoretical foundations, evaluation measures, methodologies, case studies and user study results. The multidisciplinary nature of this emerging area allows us to welcome a wide range of participant interests from both the research and development communities. While it is anticipated that most participants would have background knowledge in either evaluation of user experiences or in providing Web services, the discussion is not intended to be at a highly technical level but rather on a conceptual and highly multidisciplinary level.

Anticipated Outcome

In addition to the Workshop presentations and discussion, we anticipate producing a separate WWW2004 workshop proceedings and potentially as special topic issue for a relevant journal.

Topics of Interest

Participants have prepared a 1 page statement of interest and relevant experience and contributors have prepared a 4-8 page paper on a topic of interest to the discussion.
More information please contact us at watters@cs.dal.ca or spink@pitt.edu

Workshop Facilitators

Carolyn Watters is a Professor of Computer Science at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada and the co-director of the Web Information Filtering Lab. She has published widely on topics in Information Retrieval, Web Retrieval, and usability factors for mobile devices. She has been a workshop leader for many workshops including previous WWW conferences in the Hypertext Functionality series of workshops as well as co-chair of panels at the WWW8 conference held in Toronto.

Amanda Spink is Associate Professor at the School of Information Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research focuses on theoretical and applied studies of human information behavior, Web search, information retrieval, and digital libraries studies. The National Science Foundation, Andrew R. Mellon Foundation, NEC, IBM, Excite, AlltheWeb.com, Alta Vista and Lockheed Martin have sponsored her research. She has published over 180 journal articles and conference papers, with many in the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, Information Processing and Management, Interacting with Computers, IEEE Computer, and Internet Research, the ASIST and ISIC Conferences. She is co-author on the forthcoming book Web Search: Public Searching of the Web.

Workshop History

The proposed workshop follows a trail of related workshops starting with the Hypertext Functionality workshops from HTF I (ACM ECHT'94, Edinburgh) through HTF IX (ACM DL'00, San Antonio) and including HTF IV Hypertext on the Web (WWW7, Brisbane) and HTFVI Hypertext on the Web (WWW8, Toronto).