Investigating information seeking in physical and online environments with escape room and web search

Dongho Choi, Chirag Shah, Vivek Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Searching and interacting with information is one of the most fundamental behaviours of human beings – something that takes place in both online and physical environments. Yet, most studies of information interaction have focused on only one of these sides. This work aims to connect them by investigating one’s information interaction behaviours in different physical and online contexts as well as different types of tasks. During Web search (online searching) and Escape Room (physical searching), 31 participants’ behavioural data during web search (online searching) and escape room (physical searching) were collected through eye-tracker, web browser logs, and wearable video recorder. Analysis of the behavioural data suggests that individuals have a preferred search strategy that they adopt across different tasks and environments. The behavioural pattern, however, was found to be affected by the task type (e.g. problem searching vs exploratory search) and the way information is structured within the environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Information Science
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Library and Information Sciences


  • Information seeking behaviours
  • online search
  • physical search


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