Online information search behaviour are increasingly pervasive and important in the current era of big data. The design of search features that accommodate to information search behaviour relies on an extensive understanding of how searchers develop search tactics and search strategies. Through the lens of foraging theory, I argue the each type of search features enables a specific search tactic, that is, how searchers advance their search with their minds and actions in accord to the inherent constraints posed by a certain search feature. Furthermore, I hypothesize that the search tactics adopted by a searcher influence his/her search strategy, meaning the planning of the whole search process, and ultimately determines the search outcome. To empirically validate the hypothesis posited in this proposal, I developed an experimental restaurant review website with four contemporary search features implemented. Real information of 1079 restaurants in San Franciscon along with about 268k reviews for these restaurants written by nearly 91k dinners are scraped to populate this website. Future experiment is planned to collect participants’ objective search behavioural data as well as their quantitative and qualitative feedback regarding the search process in order to triangulate my hypotheses.
Liu, Fei, "Foraging Online: Understanding How Search Features Influence the Development of Information Search Tactics and Strategies" (2015). PACIS 2015 Proceedings. 258.