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ERIC Number: EJ946812
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 38
ISSN: ISSN-0144-929X
Seeking Information Online: The Influence of Menu Type, Navigation Path Complexity and Spatial Ability on Information Gathering Tasks
Puerta Melguizo, Mari Carmen; Vidya, Uti; van Oostendorp, Herre
Behaviour & Information Technology, v31 n1 p59-70 2012
We studied the effects of menu type, navigation path complexity and spatial ability on information retrieval performance and web disorientation or lostness. Two innovative aspects were included: (a) navigation path relevance and (b) information gathering tasks. As expected we found that, when measuring aspects directly related to navigation performance such as time and lostness, path complexity plays an important role. During navigation, expandable menus are more beneficial than sequential menus, especially for people with low spatial skills and when the semantic similarity between the information goal and the navigation path is high. When measuring aspects only related to information retrieval, once navigation has occurred, the effects of menu type depend on the spatial skills and the difficulty of the task itself. Participants with high skills perform well in all conditions. Participants with low spatial skills benefit from the use of expandable menus showing only problems with the sequential menu and when the tasks demanded more than simply combining information from different locations on a web page. The opposite pattern found with participants with medium spatial skills needs further research. (Contains 5 figures and 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Netherlands