Friday, 18 June 2010

Information seeking behaviour

A collection of theories and opinions on how people look for information online, and what we should be doing to cater for these behaviours.

Donna Spencer highlights four modes of information seeking behaviour. This is a great article and has informed my approach to structuring websites and organising content.

The 4 modes of information seeking behaviour:
  • Known-item information seeking
  • Exploratory seeking
  • Don’t know what you need to know
  • Re-finding information
Donna outlines each and goes on to discuss the implications for web design.

Four Modes of Seeking Information and How to Design for Them - article by Donna Spencer for Boxes and Arrows

Jakob Nielsen's article is pretty old now (2003), but he references some interesting earlier academic research and his observations on the rise of Google and the expansion of broadband access certainly ring true for me.

Information Foraging: Why Google Makes People Leave Your Site Faster - article by Jakob Nielsen

Jared Spool talks about the value of getting the right words on the page to help the user on his way. I've previously blogged this one...

The right trigger words - Jared Spool on labelling and links

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