We iterated through several designs that allowed a user to specify a query with time of day, general layout, category of topics, and any tags previously added, and search terms. However, participants were daunted and confused by the abundance of options. There is also the technical difficulty of determining the layout and category of web pages, so we simplified the design to searching and showing thumbnails for our software prototype.
The prototype was built as a Firefox extension, a popular web browser with add-on capabilities, and was working and functional with real data.
Key features included
- Search & Browse of web history integrated into sidebar
- Easy and visible access from toolbar search input
- Thumbnails provided for each visited website
- Full-text search
- Contextual Web History results embedded into search engine results