What Makes It Findable? An Exploration on User Search Behavior and the Findability of Technical Documentation

Zhijun Gao, Yuxin Gao, Jingsong Yu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

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This paper was presented at the Invited Panel session “Technical Communication in China”. Findability is one of the most important qualitative factors of websites. With the rapid growth in navigation complexity and in number of technical documentations in help centers, whether users can easily locate the target document could directly determine the information retrieval task outcome. Providing users with a fine guide to target documents and then helping them find solutions to their problems is the most important function of a help center. Investigation on user search behavior data and perceived findability of documentation has to be done in order to further apply website log data to predicting user subjective assessment. In this paper we analyze the correlation between subjective document findability, subjective task complexity, and user search behavior. We found several search behavior metrics which significantly correlate with the two subjective measures above.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2020 IEEE International Professional Communication Conference (ProComm)
Place of PublicationPiscataway
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-7281-5563-0
ISBN (Print)978-1-7281-5564-7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020
EventIEEE International Professional Communication Conference, ProComm 2020 - Online via Engagez.net conference platform, Kennesaw, United States
Duration: 20 Jul 202021 Jul 2020

Publication series

NameIEEE International Professional Communication Conference (ProComm)
ISSN (Print)2158-091X
ISSN (Electronic)2158-1002


ConferenceIEEE International Professional Communication Conference, ProComm 2020
Abbreviated titleProComm 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Help center evaluation
  • Subjective document findability
  • Subjective task complexity
  • User search behavior
  • n/a OA procedure


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