Nyi Nyi Htun

PhD Student
Project title: User Interface Support for Multi-level Collaborative Information Retrieval

The research focuses on designing user interface components to support users with non-uniform information access in Collaborative Information Retrieval (CIR). A common assumption in CIR is that every team member has equal and unrestricted access to information. In reality, due to security and privacy concerns, etc. team members in information sensitive environments do not have equal and unrestricted access to information. On top of that, they are unsure of what piece of information is shareable and unshareable with one another. This means that the interface components and concepts that were proposed for CIR are directly inapplicable in scenarios with non-uniform information access. To address this shortcoming, we conducted a number of experiments including one user simulated experiment and four user-involved experiments. Using an iterative approach, we tested existing CIR components and concepts and explored their impacts on search outcomes within non-uniform information access scenarios. As a final product of my PhD, a working interface was produced which could provide collaborating users with useful awareness information without disclosing any sensitive data. Overall, our interfaces, experimental designs and findings produced as part of my PhD serve as novel guidelines for further investigations into non-uniform information access in CIR.