Understanding inquiry-based searching behaviors using scan path analysis: A pilot study

Wan Ting Sun, Feng Ru Sheu*, Meng Jung Tsai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)


The purpose of the study is to explore user’s online information searching behavior via incorporating eye tracking tool with conventional user research methods and an emphasis on how eye tracking data can reveal a deeper understanding of user behaviors, specifically of interest is scan path analysis. The National Central Library (NCL) website was selected to test out two common searching tasks for libraries or library alike. And an eye-tracking device was used to detect the visual pathway. Scan path video was further used to analyze the user’s visual behavior patterns. Eight participants, four male and four female with ages from 24 to 26, were recruited for the study. A Tobii 4C eye-tracker was used to collect eye movement data and a self-developed eye-tracking data analyzer was utilized for data analysis, including fixation data and scan-path visualization. The results showed that participants who completed the task correctly had more regular and strategic searching patterns. On the opposite, participants did not find the correct answer showed no particular patterns regarding the visual path when conducting the task. The paper reported the examination of information search for the two most common inquiry on a live library website by eight Taiwanese participants in regards to search efficiency (i.e. task completion, task time, and browse pages). The paper also illustrated the additional value eye tracking tools can provide in support of user research.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInnovative Technologies and Learning - First International Conference, ICITL 2018, Proceedings
EditorsLin Lin, Ting-Ting Wu, Yueh-Min Huang, Yueh-Min Huang, Andreja Istenic Starcic, Rustam Shadieva
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9783319997360
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event1st International Conference on Innovative Technologies and Learning, ICITL 2018 - Portoroz, Slovenia
Duration: 2018 Aug 272018 Aug 30

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume11003 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other1st International Conference on Innovative Technologies and Learning, ICITL 2018


  • Browse path
  • Eye tracking
  • Online searching behavior
  • Scan path

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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