The study of web findability based on its breadth and depth

Jiann Cherng Shieh, Huang Wei Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Interior findability of a web site is the ability to allow users to find the exact needs of the information where exists in the site. Studies have shown that the effective information architecture can be used to enhance its interior findability and usability. However, the user can tolerate how many times the mouse clicks to find the information they need (site depth)? Users' eyes can glance over how many items on a web page (site breadth)? The issues have been discussed and researched by web site designers and usability experts over the years. In 2000, Zaphiris found that the site depth and breadth have the impact on user preferences of the site. Based on user-centered design concept, the card sorting method is an economical and effective tool can be used to construct websites with better findability. Card Sorting Implementation is primarily to acquire users' awareness about the classification of information content on a web site. After collecting the classifications from different users, and further through cluster analysis, factor analysis and other data analysis methods to identify the common perception of classifications from different users', we can create a web structure with enhanced findability and usability. Card sorting method is applied to construct the shape of the site focused on user shared cognition, but the site depth and breadth may cause the effects on its findability and usability have not be explored. This study attempts to apply the card sorting method to construct the web site architecture in considering the factors of site depth and breadth, thus to propose a new method of website construction. We then use the evaluation of findability of web site to verify its effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-288
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of Educational Media and Library Science
Volume50
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jan

Keywords

  • Findability
  • Information architecture
  • Site breadth
  • Site depth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Conservation
  • Information Systems
  • Archaeology
  • Library and Information Sciences

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