Seitlinger Paul, Ley Tobias, Kowald Dominik, Theiler Dieter, Hasani-Mavriqi Ilire, Dennerlein Sebastian, Lex Elisabeth, Albert Dietrich
Balancing the Fluency-Consistency Tradeoff in Collaborative Information Search Using a Recommender Approach
International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, Constantine Stephanidis and Gavriel Salvendy , Taylor and Francis, 2017
Creative group work can be supported by collaborative search and annotation of Web resources. In this setting, it is important to help individuals both stay fluent in generating ideas of what to search next (i.e., maintain ideational fluency) and stay consistent in annotating resources (i.e., maintain organization). Based on a model of human memory, we hypothesize that sharing search results with other users, such as through bookmarks and social tags, prompts search processes in memory, which increase ideational fluency, but decrease the consistency of annotations, e.g., the reuse of tags for topically similar resources. To balance this tradeoff, we suggest the tag recommender SoMe, which is designed to simulate search of memory from user-specific tag-topic associations. An experimental field study (N = 18) in a workplace context finds evidence of the expected tradeoff and an advantage of SoMe over a conventional recommender in the collaborative setting. We conclude that sharing search results supports group creativity by increasing the ideational fluency, and that SoMe helps balancing the evidenced fluency-consistency tradeoff.