Multitasking Web searching and implications for design

Ozmutlu S. , Ozmutlu H. C. , Spink A.

ASIST 2003: PROCEEDINGS OF THE 66TH ASIST ANNUAL MEETING, VOL 40, 2003, vol.40, pp.416-421, 2003 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 40
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/meet.1450400150
  • Title of Journal : ASIST 2003: PROCEEDINGS OF THE 66TH ASIST ANNUAL MEETING, VOL 40, 2003
  • Page Numbers: pp.416-421


This paper presents findings from a study of users multitasking searches on Web search engines. A user's single session with a Web search engine may consist of seeking information on single or multiple topics. Limited research has focused on multitasking search and the implications for Web design. Incidence of multitasking search by and Excite Web search engine users were filtered from transaction logs. Findings include: (1) multitasking Web searches are a noticeable user behavior, one tenth of Excite users and one third of users conducted multitasking searches, (2) multitasking search sessions are longer than regular search sessions in terms of queries per session and duration, (3) both Excite and AlltheWeb.corn users search for about three topics per multitasking session and submit about 4-5 queries per topic, and (4) there is a broad variety of search topics in multitasking search sessions. The implications of our findings for Web design and further research are discussed.