Information Scents

August 04, 2005

I found an article on Information Scents on SmartMobs. The term Information Scents was first coined by researchers at Xerox, whose research showed that the way people search for information is closely related to how animals hunt for food.

The article basically says that you need to give more context to aid users decisions, in order to make it easier for searchers to pick up the scent.

Most research into the way users navigate a site reveals that people follow one path and then, when that doesn't provide the information they require, they retrace their steps using the back button, until they find another suitable path to follow. Users can find this process frustrating and after following a couple of unsuccessful attempts, give up on a site.

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