The Impact of User Demographics and Task Types on Cross-App Mobile Search

Mohammad Aliannejadi, Fabio Crestani, Theo Huibers, Monica Landoni, Emiliana Murgia, Maria Soledad Pera. 2021. “The Impact of User Demographics and Task Types on Cross-App Mobile Search”. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Flexible Query Answering Systems (FQAS), pp. 223-234.


Recent developments in the mobile app industry have resulted in various types of mobile apps, each targeting a different need and a specific audience. Consequently, users access distinct apps to complete their information need tasks. This leads to the use of various apps not only separately, but also collaboratively in the same session to achieve a single goal. Recent work has argued the need for a unified mobile search system that would act as metasearch on users’ mobile devices. The system would identify the target apps for the user’s query, submit the query to the apps, and present the results to the user in a unified way. In this work, we aim to deepen our understanding of user behavior while accessing information on their mobile phones by conducting an extensive analysis of various aspects related to the search process. In particular, we study the effect of task type and user demographics on their behavior in interacting with mobile apps. Our findings reveal trends and patterns that can inform the design of a more effective mobile information access environment.