Defence in the Field of New Media: MA Khalil Klouche

Explorable Information Spaces. Designing Entity Affordances for Fluid Information Exploration

MA Khalil Klouche will defend thesis “Explorable Information Spaces. Designing Entity Affordances for Fluid Information Exploration” on Thursday 5.12.2019

Opponent: professor Andruid Kerne, Texas A&M University

Custos: professor Lily Díaz-Kommonen, Aalto University Department of Media

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Current search engines offer an incredibly convenient support for simple search tasks tasks, answering most questions in a few milliseconds. However, the lack of support for more complex search tasks contributes to maintaining users in a passive consumer role instead of rewarding active informational behavior.

This research explores interactive techniques designed to overcome limitations of current conventional search tools, providing better support for a wider range of information seeking behaviors, including exploratory search, serendipity and orientation. This goal is summarized as explorability, which I define as the quality of physical space that enables humans to become acquainted with it through movement and exploration. 

An explorable information space implies new behaviors regarding information practices: choosing a direction instead of formulating queries; meaningful overviews instead of narrow looks; persistent spaces allowing growing familiarity, sense-making and collaboration, instead of quick disposable search sessions. To that end, I demarcate three properties of explorability, i.e., direction, orientation and continuity, which I use as design drivers in the development of various prototypes and user experiments. 

The research process has yielded eight publications, including seven design cases with user experiments, and a position paper. The summarized work consists of an extensive design exploration of the topic at hand, and proposes a variety of interaction techniques that have shown to support information exploration, and together demarcate an alternative paradigm for future information practices.


The dissertation notice and the published dissertation are placed for public display at Väre (Otaniementie 14), close to the Info Desk, at least 10 days before the defence date.

Link to audience etiquette and dress code of the public defence (

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