Three common information needs:

  1. The perfect catch (answers straight away, e.g. telephone numbers, facts and figures) a.k.a. ‘ known-em seeking’
  2. Lobster Trapping (you don’t know much about sth but you are interested) – You are setting out the equivalent of a lobster trap – you hope whatever ambles in will be useful. – a.k.a. ‘exploratory seeking’, typically open-ended,
  3. Indiscriminate Driftnetting (you need to know the complexity of a subject so you need every little fish…) a.k.a. ‘exhaustive research’

From: Morville, Peter and Rosenfeld, Louis (2002), Information Architecture for the World Wide Web – 2nd edition, Sebastopol: O’Reilly, p. 31

Other terms used:

Information foraging (Morville)


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