The Effects of the Browser History Mechanisms on the Web Navigation

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Finding a previously visited page during web navigation is a very common and important process. Although most commercial browsers incorporate a history mechanism, when accessing pages that were recently visited users still rely mainly on the "Back" button. In this we studied the effectiveness of visually enhanced history browser mechanisms on web navigation. We used three different history mechanisms as the experiment treatments. Twenty-one college students were the subjects of the experimental trials. With a between subject design, three experimental groups were equally divided according to subject profiles. Users read and completed the given scenario. A quiz was given to measure user performance on the tested mechanism. At the end of the quiz, a subjective questionnaire was given to measure user satisfaction. The results showed that there is a significant statistical difference among the three mechanisms. The more visually enhanced history mechanism proved to be more effective in web browsing.