Investigating the Effect of Hyperlink Information Scent on Users’ Interaction with a Web Site
In the study presented in this paper we investigate how variations of information scent of hyperlinks of a webpage influence users’ behavior in terms of attention-focusing, confidence, effectiveness and efficiency, while exploring a website. In the reported study, 19 participants completed eight different tasks associated with eight simplified websites. Analysis of the results showed that even small differences in the target-link’s information scent can substantially affect users’ performance, distribution of attention and confidence. The study contributes to the related literature by quantifying the impact of even small differences in the target-link’s scent on users’ success ratio, time for first click, confidence and distribution of attention. In addition, a scent threshold value was identified, below which all the measured variables were substantially affected, and thus the link could be characterized as of “weak scent”.
KeywordsInformation scent eye tracking study Latent Semantic Analysis
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