What Snippet Size is Needed in Mobile Web Search?

Date

2017

Authors

Kim, Jaewon
Thomas, Paul
Sankaranarayana, Ramesh
Gedeon, Tom
Yoon, Hwan-Jin

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)

Abstract

A snippet (content summary for a web page) is one of the main elements in a search result page. Search engines have been improved to reduce users' effort in web search, e.g., providing flexible snippet sizes by considering the purpose of the search and suggesting predicted answers. In most cases, search engines for mobile devices present two or three lines of snippet for each result link. Some studies suggest that long snippets provide a better search experience on desktop screens, but this may not be true for mobile devices because of the smaller screen. We conducted a user study to investigate what size of snippet is appropriate for mobile devices. Our findings suggest that users with long snippets on mobile devices exhibit longer search times with no better search accuracy for informational tasks. This is caused by the longer reading time, frequent scrolling with bigger viewport movements, and greater time consumption for searching and reading one result. The overall findings suggest that, unlike desktop users, mobile users are best served by snippets of two to three lines.

Description

Keywords

Mobile web search, snippet length, search engine result page

Citation

Source

CHIIR '17 Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval

Type

Conference paper

Book Title

Entity type

Access Statement

License Rights

DOI

10.1145/3020165.3020173

Restricted until

2099-12-31