- A semi-automatic usage-based method for improving hyperlink descriptions in menus
- International Journal of Human-Computer Studies
- Volume | Issue number
- 67 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Informatics Institute (IVI)
Users who visit a web page for the first time select links on the basis of the link anchors and the descriptions of the links that are provided on the page. If these descriptions give an inaccurate impression of the underlying pages, users make incorrect choices. In this paper we present a novel algorithm to automatically detect links with problematic descriptions in hierarchical menus on the basis of usage information stored in the sites’ log files. The algorithm searches the log files for navigation patterns that show that many users make navigation mistakes at certain points in the site. Repeated mistakes indicate that users do not understand the intentions of a link description. The algorithm distinguishes several types of problematic descriptions and provides recommendations for how problematic descriptions of each type can be improved. The findings of the algorithm can help a webmaster of a site to gain insights in the behavior of the sites’ users and to improve the site's menu accordingly. Evaluation in three domains shows that webmasters perceive the analyses made by the algorithm as very helpful for improving sites. Moreover, a user experiment demonstrates that the adaptations made by the webmasters on the basis of the analyses, significantly reduce the number of navigation mistakes.
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