Web Navigation Strategy and Performance
Campbell, Susan Grace
Norman, Kent L
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The task of web navigation, or finding information on the World Wide Web, appears to depend on spatial cognition and problem solving. Spatial visualization ability is commonly considered to determine efficiency of performance on web search and navigation tasks. In order to investigate the mechanism for this improved efficiency, we developed two conceptual models of the relationship between strategy choice and spatial visualization ability. We found mixed results in three experiments. Of the first two, one suggested that spatial visualization ability predicts performance on web navigation tasks, and one suggested that there was no relationship. In both of these experiments, we also found that web navigation task performance was heavily dependent on strategy. The third experiment showed a relationship between strategy choice and performance as well as between spatial visualization ability and performance, but it did not suggest that spatial visualization ability determines strategy choice.