Seeking simplicity in search user interfaces

Oct. 30, 2014 from 3:30 to 4:20 p.m. — Electrical Engineering Building, room 105

Professor, School of Information, UC Berkeley


It is rare for a new user interface to break through and become successful, especially in information-intensive tasks like search, coming to consensus or building up knowledge. Most complex interfaces end up going unused. Often the successful solution lies in a previously unexplored part of the interface design space that is simple in a new way that works just right. In this talk I will give examples of such successes in the information-intensive interface design space, and attempt to provide stimulating ideas for future research directions.


Dr. Marti Hearst is a professor in the School of Information at UC Berkeley, with an affiliate appointment in the Computer Science Division. Her primary research interests are user interfaces for search engines, information visualization, natural language processing, and improving MOOCs. She wrote the first book on Search User Interfaces. Prof. Hearst was named a Fellow of the ACM in 2013 and has received an NSF CAREER award, an IBM Faculty Award, two Google Research Awards, an Okawa Foundation Fellowship, three Excellence in Teaching Awards, and has been principal investigator for more than $3.5M in research grants. Prof. Hearst has served on the Advisory Council of NSF’s CISE Directorate and is currently on the Web Board for CACM, member of the Usage Panel for the American Heritage Dictionary, and on the panel of experts. She is on the editorial board of ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction and was formerly on the boards of ACM Transactions on the Web, Computational Linguistics, ACM Transactions on Information Systems, and IEEE Intelligent Systems. Prof. Hearst received BA, MS, and PhD degrees in Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley, and she was a Member of the Research Staff at Xerox PARC from 1994 to 1997.