View the PDF document VQuery: A graphical user interface for Boolean query specification and dynamic result preview

Jones, S. (1998) Working Paper 98/3, Department of Computer Science, University of Waikato; March.

Textual query languages based on Boolean logic are common amongst the search facilities of on-line information repositories. However, there is evidence to suggest that the syntactic and semantic demands of such languages lead to user errors and adversely affect the time that it takes users to form queries. Additionally, users are faced with user interfaces to these repositories which are unresponsive and uninformative, and consequently fail to support effective query refinement. We suggest that graphical query languages, particularly Venn-like diagrams, provide a natural medium for Boolean query specification which overcomes the problems of textual query languages. Also, dynamic result previews can be seamlessly integrated with graphical query specification to increase the effectiveness of query refinements. We describe VQuery, a query interface to the New Zealand Digital Library which exploits querying by Venn diagrams and integrated query result previews.