Designing interfaces to support collaboration in information retrieval

Michael Twidale, David Nichols

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Information retrieval systems should acknowledge the existence of collaboration in the search process. Collaboration can help users to be more effective in both learning systems and in using them. We consider how to build systems that more actively support collaboration. We describe a system that embodies just one kind of explicit support; a graphical representation of the search process that can be manipulated and discussed by users. A consideration of this system leads to an analysis of designing systems to support coping behaviour by users; including the need to support both help-giving by people, and recovery from the failure of intelligent agents. We also discuss the idea of interfaces as notations for supporting dialogues between people.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-193
Number of pages17
JournalInteracting with Computers
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998


  • Collaborative learning process
  • Information retrieval
  • Interface design
  • Visualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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