An Exploration of Needs for Connotative Messages during Image Search Process

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This study aims to provide an understanding of the information seeking process for image documents by focusing on needs for connotative messages. For this purpose, this study attempted to investigate and compare three stages of the image search process in terms of use of image attributes. The three stages of the image search process are identified as initiation, representation and selection, and image attribute levels are defined as color, denotative, and connotative attributes. Data was collected from a survey questionnaire composed of Likert scales, open questionnaires, and Semantic Differential scales. The study found that while color, denotative, and connotative attributes were all considered important by users, color itself did not have critical impact during the representing and selecting stages. Denotative and connotative attributes were important across the overall search process and users employed diverse denotative and connotative terms for finding a satisfactory image under a given task. This study also demonstrated that affective attributes of an image can be represented with reduced dimensions using Semantic Differential scales, and that reduced dimensions can be used to indicate more meaningful and relevant images.

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Proceedings of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, v. 43, no. 1, p. 1-19.