A STUDY ON THE ROLE OF NON-HYPERLINK TEXT ON WEB NAVIGATION

Saraschandra Karanam, OostendorpHerre van Oostendorp, Bipin Indurkhya

Abstract


Cognitive models of web navigation have been used for evaluating websites
and predicting user navigation behavior. Currently they predict the correct
hyperlink by using information from the hyperlink text alone and ignore all
other textual information on a webpage. The validity of this assumption is
examined by investigating the role of non-hyperlink text on user navigation
behavior. In the first experiment, we created two versions of a website by
removing the non-hyperlink text from it. We found that there was no significant
effect of non-hyperlink text on the user navigation behavior. Participants were
equally accurate, selected the same set of pages to visit and spent the same
amount of time on that common set with or without non-hyperlink text. This
result validates the assumptions of those models of user-navigation behavior
that consider information from the hyperlink text only. However, in a followup
experiment, we included high-relevance and low-relevance pictures on the
website, and repeated the experiment with and without non-hyperlink text.
We found that participants were more accurate in the presence of non-hyperlink
text than without it. This result suggests that the presence of pictures might
prime the users to pay attention to non-hyperlink text, which increases the task
accuracy.

Keywords


web-navigation, main-content, text, semantics

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7494/csci.2012.13.3.5

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