Nathan Hahn


Bento Browser: Complex Mobile Search Without Tabs

Nathan Hahn, Joseph Chang, Niki Kittur



People engaged in complex searches such as planning a vacation or understanding their medical symptoms are often overwhelmed by opening and managing many tabs. These challenges are exacerbated as search moves to smartphones and mobile devices where screen real-estate is limited and tasks are frequently suspended, resumed, and interleaved. Rather than continue to utilize tab-based browsing for complex search, we introduce a new way of browsing through a scaffolded interface. The list of search results serves as a mutable workspace, where a user can track progress on a specific information query. The search query serves as a gateway into this workspace, accessed through a task-subtask hierarchy. We instantiate this in the Bento mobile search system and investigate its effectiveness in three studies. We find converging evidence that users were able to make progress on their complex searching tasks with this structure, and find it more organized and easier to revisit.


Get more details about the Bento project on its website

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Hahn, N., Chang, J. C., & Kittur, A. (2018). Bento Browser. Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems  - CHI  ’18. doi:10.1145/3173574.3173825


	doi = {10.1145/3173574.3173825},
	url = {},
	year = 2018,
	publisher = {{ACM} Press},
	author = {Nathan Hahn and Joseph Chee Chang and Aniket Kittur},
	title = {Bento Browser},
	booktitle = {Proceedings of the 2018 {CHI} Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems  - {CHI} {\textquotesingle}18}