Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What is browsing—really? A model drawing from behavioural science research

A scholarly paper about browsing concepts ...

"Introduction. It is argued that the actual elements of typical browsing episodes have not been well captured by common approaches to the concept to date.

Method. Empirical research results reported by previous researchers are presented and closely analysed.

Analysis. Based on the issues raised by the above research review, the components of browsing are closely analysed and developed. Browsing is seen to consist of a series of four steps, iterated indefinitely until the end of a browsing episode: 1) glimpsing a field of vision, 2) selecting or sampling a physical or informational object within the field of vision, 3) examining the object, 4) acquiring the object (conceptually and/or physically) or abandoning it. Not all of these elements need be present in every browsing episode, though multiple glimpses are seen to be the minimum to constitute the act.

Results. This concept of browsing is then shown to have persuasive support in the psychological and anthropological literature, where research on visual search, curiosity and exploratory behaviour all find harmony with this perspective.

Conclusions. It is argued that this conception of browsing is closer to real human behaviour than other approaches. Implications for better information system design are developed."    (Continued via irInformationResearch)    [Usability Resources]

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