In spite of the radical enhancement of Web technologies, many users still continue to experience severe difficulties in navigating Web systems. One way to reduce the navigation difficulties is to provide context information that explains the current situation of Web users. In this study, we empirically examined the effects of 2 types of context information, structural and temporal context. In the experiment, we evaluated the effectiveness of the contextual navigation aids in 2 different types of Web systems, an electronic commerce system that has a well-defined structure and a content dissemination system that has an ill-defined structure. In our experiment, participants answered a set of postquestionnaires after performing several searching and browsing tasks. The results of the experiment reveal that the 2 types of contextual navigation aids significantly improved the performance of the given tasks regardless of different Web systems and different task types. Moreover, context information changed the users’ navigation patterns and increased their subjective convenience of navigation. This study concludes with implications for understanding the users’ searching and browsing patterns and for developing effective navigation systems.
Years back, we compared successful clickstreams (clickstreams that resulted in users accomplishing their goals, as observed in tons of usability tests) with unsuccessful clickstreams (clickstreams where users abandoned their goals before completing), looking for any clues that would help us predict behaviors in one that we didn’t see in the other. One factor we looked for was whether the clickstreams contained image links versus text links — does one type of link show up more often in successful clickstreams than the other. Our finding was when users clicked in image links they were just as likely to succeed or fail as when the clicked on text links. There was no statistically-meaningful difference.