Proceedings: GI 2006

The impact of task on the usage of web browser navigation mechanisms

Melanie Kellar, Carolyn Watters, Michael Shepherd

Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2006: Québec, Québec, Canada, 7-9 June 2006, 235-242

  • BibTex

    author = {Kellar, Melanie and Watters, Carolyn and Shepherd, Michael},
    title = {The impact of task on the usage of web browser navigation mechanisms},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2006},
    series = {GI 2006},
    year = {2006},
    issn = {0713-5424},
    isbn = {1-56881-308-2},
    location = {Qu{\'e}bec, Qu{\'e}bec, Canada},
    pages = {235--242},
    numpages = {8},
    publisher = {Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society},
    address = {Toronto, Ontario, Canada},


In this paper, we explore how factors such as task and individual differences influence the usage of different web browser navigation mechanisms (e.g., clicked links, bookmarks, auto-complete). We conducted a field study of 21 participants and logged detailed web browser usage. Participants were asked to categorize their web usage according to the following schema: Fact Finding, Information Gathering, Browsing, and Transactions. Using this data, we have identified three factors that play a role in the use of navigation mechanisms: task session, task type, and individual differences. These findings have implications for the future design of new and improved web navigation mechanisms.