What Is Information Seeking?
Models of Information Behavior
A model may be described as a framework for thinking about a problem and may evolve into a statement of relationships among theoretical proposition. The models in the general field of information behavior are usually statements, often in the form of diagrams that attempt to describe an information-seeking activity, the causes and consequences of that activity, or the relationships among stages information-seeking behavior. Rarely do such models advance to the stage of specifying relationships among theoretical proposition, but they may suggest relationships that are fruitful to explore or test.
Using Animal Type to Discuss User Needs and Process Abstraction
It can be difficult to get people to discuss their existing behavior if some of the class are reluctant to admit to their weakness. If they are hesitant to talk about their existing behaviors, it may best to change the session so they don't have to share their animal type with the rest of the class. The class discussion can ask the class to imagine they are a particular type and to think of the strengths and weaknesses that may imply.
If the user needs are understood in a system orientation and level of abstraction is not known, the requirements analysis must be done through a process of datand process modelling. Email is important to a business, but it is unlikely to be included in vital records. Vital records are important for business continuity and must be available.
Query Reformulation of the Standard Model
The standard model can be seen as having cognitive underpinning from Norman's model. It is akin to formulating and becoming aware of a goal to recognize a need for information. Formulating the problem and expressing the information need via queries or navigation in a search system corresponds to executing actions and examining the results to see if the information need is satisfied.
If the gulf between the goal and the state of the world is too large, query reformulation is needed. Some search tasks are straightforward enough that a strategy is not required. A simple fact-searching on the Web is an example of this; the searcher opens a browser, navigates to a search engine entry form, types in their information need, and scans the results to find the answer or a link to a page that contains the answer.
The type of information need can't be classified for queries from the Web query logs. A search for the topic of weather can include simple information needs of looking at forecast and studying meteorology. Predicting query ambiguity is to see what the diversity of clicks is for a given query.