Searching Images in Daily Life

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With the proliferation of images in daily life, it is crucial to investigate what, where, why and how people search images in response to their everyday needs. In order to examine the daily needs of image searchers, a survey questionnaire was administered to 58 college students. The results demonstrated that the majority of college students use Google or Google Image for searching images, because of its familiarity and user-friendly interface. Although searchers reported a high success rate (85.6%) of image retrieval, they wanted search engines to return more relevant images and fewer irrelevant and redundant images. They also desired search engines to provide high resolution and full scale images. Students searched for images for various purposes, including to: prepare presentation materials, use as computer wallpaper, get ideas for purchasing, travel destinations, or beauty/fashion items, see what something looks like, verify names, solve problems, out of curiosity, and so on. Some types of needs revealed that users were interested in associated textual information, as well as the image itself. The implications for image retrieval system design are 1) it is proposed that metadata information (size, quality, type, copyright information) be utilized in browsing or navigating images, and 2) further research on an information retrieval system that can support users looking for both text and images concurrently is suggested.

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Library & Information Science Research, v. 33, no. 4, p. 269-275