People and Computers XVI - Memorable Yet Invisible

pp 247-265

How People Recognise Previously Seen Web Pages from Titles, URLs and Thumbnails

  • Shaun KaastenAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science, University of Calgary
  • , Saul GreenbergAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science, University of Calgary
  • , Christopher EdwardsAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Calgary

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The selectable lists of pages offered by Web browsers’ history and bookmark facilities ostensibly make it easier for people to return to previously visited pages. These lists show the pages as abstractions, typically as truncated titles and URLs, and more rarely as small thumbnail images. Yet we have little knowledge of how recognisable these representations really are. Consequently, we carried out a study that compared the recognisability of thumbnails between various image sizes, and of titles and URLs between various string sizes. Our results quantify the trade-off between the size of these representations and their recognisability. These findings directly contribute to how history and bookmark lists should be designed.


history system bookmarks Web browsers