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AutorenHarald Weinreich, Hartmut Obendorf, Eelco Herder, Matthias Mayer
TitelNot Quite the Average: An Empirical Study of Web Use
Publiziert inACM Transactions on the Web
MediumBand 1 Nummer 2
DatumFebruar 2008
NotizArticle 5, February 2008
ZusammenfassungIn the past decade, the World Wide Web has been subject to dramatic changes. Web sites have evolved from static information resources to dynamic and interactive applications that are used for a broad scope of activities on a daily basis. To examine the consequences of these changes on user behavior, we conducted a long-term client-side Web usage study with twenty-five participants. This report presents results of this study and compares the user behavior with previous long-term browser usage studies, which range in age from seven to thirteen years. Based on the empirical data and the interview results, various implications for the interface design of browsers and Web sites are discussed. A major finding is the decreasing prominence of backtracking in Web navigation. This can largely be attributed to the increasing importance of dynamic, service-oriented Web sites. Users do not navigate on these sites searching for information, but rather interact with an online application to complete certain tasks. Furthermore, the usage of multiple windows and tabs has partly replaced back button usage, posing new challenges for user orientation and backtracking. We found that Web browsing is a rapid activity even for pages with substantial content, which calls for page designs that allow for cursory reading. Click maps provide additional information on how users interact with the Web on page level. Finally, substantial differences were observed between users, and characteristic usage patterns for different types of Web sites emphasize the need for more adaptive and customizable Web browsers.
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