The Search Before the Search: Keyword Foraging

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Summary: When users don’t know what keywords they need, they must do extra work to determine what their desired item or concept is called.

We live in a search-driven digital world, which is great as long as you know the keywords you need. But what happens when you don’t?

When users want to find an item or a piece of information and they don’t know what it’s called , they face a difficult problem. Sometimes in our research, we see users engage in keyword foraging.

In keyword foraging, a user conducts a preliminary search (usually in a web search engine like Google) to determine the right keywords for her information need.

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