Collections > Master's Papers > School of Information and Library Science > The Effects of Contextual and Descriptive Information on User Perceptions of a Music Information Retrieval Interface Used for Known-item and Exploratory Search Tasks

This paper reports on a study in which 40 participants completed a known-item music search task and an exploratory search task using an e-commerce style interface that accessed the music catalog. Depth of description and the level of contextual information were manipulated in a 2x2 factorial design in which high depth of description included a review of the release, cover art, and release date in addition to basic metadata. Perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness, flow (enjoyment) and flow (engagement) were collected following each task. The high context condition added hyperlinks to artist, genre, and record label, where the low context condition did not. Findings suggest that high depth of description has both positive and negative effects on users' perceptions of the interface, although context does not appear to have significant effects. The task completed also appears to affect sensitivity to depth of description and level of context manipulations.