Explorable Information Spaces: Designing Entity Affordances for Fluid Information Exploration

Khalil Klouche

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


    The research presented in this dissertation explores interactive techniques designed to overcome limitations of current conventional search tools as primary access points to information, and better support for a wider range of information-seeking behaviors, including exploratory search, serendipity, and orientation. I summarize that goal as Making information explorable and define explorability as the quality of physical space that enables humans to become acquainted with it through movement and exploration. An explorable information space implies situated information, which enables orientation: Choosing a direction instead of formulating queries; Meaningful overviews instead of narrow looks; Persistent spaces allowing growing familiarity, sense-making, and collaboration, instead of quick disposable search sessions. The promise of an information space with such properties is carried by the notion of entity- oriented information. I address the state of explorability of the information space through the evaluation of entity affordances and visualization techniques. To that end, I demarcate three properties of explorability, i.e., Direction, Orientation, and Continuity, which I use as design drivers in the development of various prototypes and user experiments. The research process has yielded eight publications, including seven design cases with user experiments, and a position paper. The summarized work consists of an extensive design exploration of the topic at hand, and proposes a variety of interaction techniques that have shown to support information exploration, and together demarcate an alternative paradigm for future information practices.
    Translated title of the contributionExplorable Information Spaces - Designing Entity Affordances for Fluid Information Exploration
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor's degree
    Awarding Institution
    • Aalto University
    • Diaz-Kommonen, Lily, Supervising Professor
    • Jacucci, Giulio, Thesis Advisor
    • Diaz-Kommonen, Lily, Thesis Advisor
    • Ruotsalo, Tuukka, Thesis Advisor
    Print ISBNs978-952-60-8774-0
    Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-8775-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2019
    MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


    • Information Exploration
    • Interface Design


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