Human information interaction and retrieval (HIIR) blends research from information retrieval (IR), information behavior, and human computer interaction (HCI) to form a unique research specialty focused on helping people explore, resolve, and manage their information problems via interactions with information systems. Research in this area includes studies of people’s information search behaviors, their use of interfaces and search features, and their interactions with systems. One important characteristic of HIIR research is that it focuses on people; it is common for searchers to be studied along with their interactions with systems. Although many people would classify HIIR as a relatively new specialty because of the growth of online searching in the past two decades, interest in this area has existed since the early days of IR (and the first “user study” was conducted in the 1940s!). In this tutorial, I will provide a historical overview of human information interaction and retrieval research. I will present key ideas and concepts, the (d- )evolution of search interfaces, and methods of evaluation. The goal is to provide students with a greater understanding of, and appreciation for, HIIR studies, the kinds of research questions with which they are concerned, and the types of methods that are useful for addressing these questions.

Lecturer: Professor Diane Kelly