Operation and Variability of Selection-based Search Systems
– Selection-based search systems create a semantic database of trained terms.
– They do not compile a physical database or catalog of the web on the user’s desktop computer.
– Instead, they pass selected keywords to online cloud services and compile results based on a specific algorithm.
– No two selection-based search systems are alike.
– They differ in terms of the websites they link to, the search engines they use, and the presentation of results.
Quality of Results in Selection-based Search Systems
– Usability can vary widely between selection-based search systems.
– Basic systems allow users to search more of the web in the context of their work than any single search engine.
– However, some systems are considered redundant if they do not apply intelligence to categorizing selected text and simply provide links to preferred search engines.
– The quality of results depends on how well the system categorizes selected text and matches it to online services.
– The process is more efficient when the system identifies the most suitable online service for the selected text.
Related Concepts and Examples of Selection-based Search
– For cloud computing services used by selection-based search systems, refer to the list of search engines.
– Accelerator in Internet Explorer 8 is related to selection-based search.
– Microsoft Smart Tags are related to selection-based search.
– Yahoo! Search selection-based search is another example.
– Macintosh Spotlight is a selection-based search system that allows users to search their desktop files.
References and Sources
– Adler, Paul S. and Terry Winograd wrote a book called ‘Usability: turning technologies into tools’ in 1992.
– Steve Lawrence and C. Lee Giles discussed the accessibility of information on the web in a Nature journal article in 1999.
– Mark Zachry and Charlotte Thralls conducted an interview with Edward R. Tufte related to selection-based search in the Technical Communication Quarterly in 2004.
– ‘The Click Heard Round The World’ is an article in Wired journal from 1993.
– Z39.50 is a reference to a protocol used in library information retrieval systems.
Benefits of Selection-based Search
– Selection-based search lowers the user barrier to search.
– It allows users to launch a search query by selecting text on any application on their desktop.
– Users can search the internet for more information about any keyword or phrase contained within a document or webpage.
– It saves users from having to juggle multiple applications, web browsers, or search engines separately.
– Selection-based search enables users to search for information in context, enhancing the value of the search results.
A selection-based search system is a search engine system in which the user invokes a search query using only the mouse. A selection-based search system allows the user to search the internet for more information about any keyword or phrase contained within a document or webpage in any software application on their desktop computer using the mouse.
Traditional browser-based search systems require the user to launch a web browser, navigate to a search page, type or paste a query into a search box, review a list of results, and click a hyperlink to view these results. Three characteristic features of a selection-based search system are that the user can invoke search using only their mouse from within the context of any application on their desktop (for example Microsoft Office, Adobe Reader, Mozilla Firefox, etc.), receive categorized suggestions which are based on the context of the user-selected text (or in some cases the wisdom of crowds), and view the results in floating information boxes which can be sized, shared, docked, closed and stacked on top of the document that has the user’s primary focus.
In its simplest form, selection-based search enables users to launch a search query by selecting text on any application on their desktop. It is commonly believed that selection-based search lowers the user barrier to search and permits an incremental number of searches per user per day. Selection-based search systems also operate on the premise that users value information in context. They may save the user from having to juggle multiple applications, multiple web browsers or use multiple search engines separately.
The term selection-based search is frequently used to classify a set of search engine systems, including a desktop client and a series of cloud computing services, but is also used to describe the paradigm of categorizing a keyword and searching multiple data sources using only the mouse. The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) uses the terms selection-based search and mouse-based search interchangeably to describe this web search paradigm.
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