Alternative Search

Abstract

The Web has experienced an exponential growth since its commercialisation in the 90’s. Gradually, the search engine has became an integral part in seeking information and navigating this seemingly immaterial space.The mutual transaction of data between individual and search engine is undeniably a prime example of human-computer interaction, as both take an active role.Yet, search engines signal a sense of frictionless efficiency and there is much to be explored in the way people perceive, interact and relate to them.

The project investigates user experiences in broader perspectives - which not only gratifies the needs for information, but supports a diversity of journeys.

Inspiration and Method

The aim of the initial research has been to gain better understanding of the philosophical values of human orienting strategies and behaviours. It investigates what it means to search and why people do it. Additional research of search engines focuses on qualitative aspects in an otherwise quantitative field.

The conceptual phase attempts to explore alternative ways of browsing information systems supported by current infrastructures and hardware platforms. Present solutions are challenged by taking a less technology-centered approach for designing utilitarian applications.

Result

The result, Exposeek, is an experiential prototype supporting exploratory browsing based on principles of distributed infrastructure, transparent computation and serendipitous information. Suggestive queries, legible algorithms and augmented results provide additional insights and present an alternative way to seek and peruse the Web.