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Not quite the average: An empirical study of Web use

Not quite the average: An empirical study of Web use Not Quite the Average: An Empirical Study of Web Use HARALD WEINREICH and HARTMUT OBENDORF University of Hamburg EELCO HERDER University of Hannover and MATTHIAS MAYER University of Hamburg In 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- ve 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 nding 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 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png ACM Transactions on the Web (TWEB) Association for Computing Machinery

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Publisher
Association for Computing Machinery
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 by ACM Inc.
ISSN
1559-1131
DOI
10.1145/1326561.1326566
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Not Quite the Average: An Empirical Study of Web Use HARALD WEINREICH and HARTMUT OBENDORF University of Hamburg EELCO HERDER University of Hannover and MATTHIAS MAYER University of Hamburg In 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- ve 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 nding 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

Journal

ACM Transactions on the Web (TWEB)Association for Computing Machinery

Published: Feb 1, 2008

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