User Needs and Behavior
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User Needs and Behavior. Course Title. University of Malaya. WXGB63083. Course Code. Introductory Lecture. Prof. Lleuvelyn A. Cacha 305-B 3 rd Floor Ehsan Ria Condominiums, Section 11 P.J. Selangor, Malaysia [email protected] Office Tel. 7967 6417 Mobile: 017-3698062. Course Instructor.

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User Needs and Behavior

Course Title

University of Malaya


Course Code

Introductory Lecture

Prof. Lleuvelyn A. Cacha

305-B 3rd Floor Ehsan Ria Condominiums, Section 11 P.J. Selangor, Malaysia

[email protected]

Office Tel. 7967 6417

Mobile: 017-3698062

Course Instructor

Visiting Lecturer

Faculty of Science & Information Technology

University of Malaya


Course Description

This course is approached from a variety of perspectives to understand users’ diverse information needs and search behavior patterns and how they retrieve and use information from a variety of information environments. It explores the individual and the social perspectives of cognitive and affective aspects in a range of complementary modes of information seeking, from undirected viewing to formal searching that retrieves focused information for action or decision making.

University of Malaya

Course Description

Moreover, it examines the fundamental features of a given complex system – its applications to information systems and how users interact with the system’s usability or functionality.

The course will highlight aspects of information behavior of major user population.

University of Malaya

  • To encourage critical sensing of user needs and information behavior and understand a user-centered approach in the design and provision of information retrieval systems / interface design process

  • To identify techniques for profiling potential user groups in a variety of organizational and professional community context

  • To observe and analyze group / individual user information seeking and use behaviors in a context where they carry out their information-seeking activities

Course Objectives

University of Malaya

  • To design / develop a service program that address user needs to accomplish their goals.

  • To understand and form user profiles through web information seeking patterns of use

  • To design/develop studies forinvestigating information seeking behaviors in electronic information environments.

  • To create /design a friendly user interface based on observation and research of user needs and information behavior.

Course Objectives

University of Malaya

  • Models and theories of information seeking needs to accomplish their goals.

  • Fundamental issues and concepts relevant to information behavior

  • Information use activities; decision making, browsing, judgment of relevance, avoidance of information

  • Models of Information behavior; (Wilson, Krikelas, Kuthlau, Dervin, Johnson, Leckie, Ellis' information seeking behavior)

Course Contents

University of Malaya

  • Types of users – web content has to cater to their preferred different starting points.

  • Methods of studying behaviors

  • User interfaces and evaluation, interaction design elements

  • The research process – efficient search strategy

  • Information seeking and technology rich environments (online searching)

Course Contents

University of Malaya

Course Structure preferred different starting points.

Class activities include interactive lecturing and laboratory sessions learning; demonstrations of databases and search methods, design interface evaluations, will take place via recommended readings, class discussions, student reports and group presentations. Class will be organized as a seminar with a research component. .

University of Malaya

  • Reflection / Observation Papers preferred different starting points.

  • Submit reflections from readings (backed by research, descriptive observation and literature reviews) on the relevance / importance of understanding user needs and information behavior in the context of providing information services and interface design processes to allow users to have more control over their information searching experiences.

  • Class Attendance / Participation

  • Each student is expected to attend and give quality participation in class discussions and to lead an extended deliberation with some particular topic as assigned.

Course Requirements

University of Malaya

  • Classified Annotated Bibliography preferred different starting points.

  • An organized list of sources (books, articles from journals, newspapers, magazines, theses and dissertations, conference proceedings, videos and online sources published from 2000 up

  • This will allow you to explore potential sources of “user needs and behavior” and shed light on information seeking behavior and provide the research experience as you eventually select and develop a topic on the subject for class presentation. The bibliography should be organized alphabetically by author’s last name.  This includes careful recording of the bibliographic details to ensure correct referencing.

Course Requirements

University of Malaya

Guidelines for Creating preferred different starting points.

Annotated Bibliographies

Follow the Chicago citation format. Citation format information is found at or a print copy of the Chicago style citation guides.

Provide a keyword, summary and an evaluation of the source. Each summary or informative abstract must be brief and should reveal the main purpose of the work.

Length: annotations should be in one paragraph approximately 50-100 words long, with a goal of concise and explanatory annotations.

Course Requirements

University of Malaya

  • Research / Presentation preferred different starting points.

  • Students are required to present / report designed to brief dimensions of information seeking behavior; understanding the needs and habits of different user groups; use of information to achieve their goals.

  • Project Plan / Proposal

  • Develop / design a project plan integrating user needs and information seeking behavior into the designs of a library service more in tune with their needs.

Course Requirements

University of Malaya

  • Website preferred different starting points.

  • Each student is required to create/design and maintain a website. You are free to choose where to mount your website as long as it is publicly accessible to other students of the course and the instructor. This will serve as a venue for every student to submit one’s assignment; will be presented and evaluated by other members of the class.

  • Quizzes

  • Unannounced quizzes

  • Final Exams

  • Check the Postgraduate Exam Timetable for this at

Course Requirements

University of Malaya

  • Reflections 10% preferred different starting points.

  • Classified Annotated Bibliographies 10%

  • Research / Presentations 15%

  • Web Site 15%

  • Project Plan / Proposal 10%

  • Participation / Quizzes 10%

  • (Preparatory reading and appropriate contributions to class discussions)

  • Final Exam 30%

Course Assessment

University of Malaya

  • Case, Donald O. 2002. Looking for information: a survey of research on information seeking, needs and behavior. Amsterdam: Academic Press.

  • New review of information behavior research: Studies of information seeking in context. Vol. 1. 2000. London: Taylor Graham.

  • Information Needs and Uses. Various volumes In: Annual Review of Information Science & Technology,1998


University of Malaya

References research on information seeking, needs and behavior. Amsterdam: Academic Press.

  • Marchionini, Gary. 1995. Information seeking in electronic environments. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Vakkari, Pertti; Savolainen, Reijo & Dervin, Brenda (eds). 1997. Information seeking in context. London: Graham Taylor.

University of Malaya

University of Malaya research on information seeking, needs and behavior. Amsterdam: Academic Press.

University of Malaya research on information seeking, needs and behavior. Amsterdam: Academic Press.

Models of Information Behavior Research

What is enough? Satisfying information needs?