Dr Andy MacFarlane

Reader - City, University of London

Visual Analysis of Dyslexia on Search

A key problem in the field of search interfaces is dyslexic users interaction with the UI. Dyslexia is a widespread specific learning difficult (SpLD) (10% of any population is estimated to have this cognitive disability) which is under researched in the field of information retrieval. The focus here is an analysis of the User Interface (UI) for search, using visual analytical methods on eye tracking data to examine the difference between control and dyslexic searchers. We use a number of visual analytic methods including path similarity analysis (PSA) and clustering of time intervals to demonstrate both similarities and differences between the user groups. Observations of videos are used to augment the visualizations. Results demonstrate a clear difference between the user groups, and a clear memory effect on the user of search interfaces is shown – this is a key contribution of this talk. We examine the results using of theories of dyslexia, contributing also to the field of dyslexia and search.

About the speaker:

Andy is a Reader in the School of Mathematics Computer Science and Engineering at City, University of London, and currently co-directs the Centre of Interactive Systems Research with Prof Stephen Robertson of Microsoft Research Cambridge. He got his PhD in Information Science from the same Department under the supervision of Prof Robertson and Dr J.A. McCann (now at Imperial College London). His research interests currently focus on a number of areas including disabilities and Information Retrieval (dyslexia in particular), AI techniques for Information Retrieval and image retrieval. He is a member of the BCS Information Retrieval Specialist Group and is a long standing member of that SG as well as a past chair. He was the principle investigator for a project funded by the TSB entitled “PhotoBrief” and a co-investigator for the SocialSensor project. He works within the wider of Information Analysis and Visualisation and Information Science.

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