Driving around and never getting anywhere

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Krug 4-6

"I think it's safe to say that users don't mind a lot of clicks as long as each click is painless and they have continued confidence that they're on the right track" 41

"people won't use your Web site if they can't find their way around it" 51

There's nothing I hate more than digging a deeper and deeper hole. During a website evaluation for another class, we had to find listed items with no guidelines. I think I spent a good half an hour trying to find the mission statement. Why? because I had no idea where to begin. Was it under "about the company"? Sort of. After clicking on about company, I began clicking on more links. The mission statement was at least 8 clicks away from the sub-category. There was a lot of unnecessary digging involved. I had no idea that I was even on the right track-the category labels were so ambiguous that I was guessing about 95% of the time. It sort of reminded me of this past summer where I drove around Lancaster city trying to find a gas station (by the way, there are no gas stations in Lancaster City). There was no rhyme or reason-I just kept driving.

"the decision whether to start browsing or searching depends on their current frame of mind, how much of a hurry they're in, and whether the site appears to have decent browsable navigation" 55

I use the search function only if I have no idea what category I should look under (on non-book sites). The site should be so easily navigatable (spelling?) that the search button should be a last resort. Of course, sometimes the search function can be a quick fix, especially when trying to find a back story on a newspaper site. I browse people.com because I'm reading it for leisure, to pass time. When I heard about the $8 million drug bust in my hometown last friday, I searched yahoo immediately. The issue was more important to me than who broke up or who got arrested for hitting an SUV: I sort of needed to know what happened, because the news was most relevant to me. Also, the local paper site did not yet have a news brief up. Yet I knew some other site would.

"it's very hard to know whether you've seen everything of interest in a site, which means it's hard to know when to stop looking" 57

It was very hard to know if I had already passed the mission statement in past pages. There were huge blocks of text, not to mention a million sub-categories. I found myself backtracking like hell to try and find what I was looking for. The assignment took 3 hours. I kept second-guessing myself:
  • "I already read this page.. but did I miss it?"
  • "I didn't notice that link before"
  • "that sort of looks like a mission statement, but I'm not sure"
  • "why would the mission statement be under that caetegory"
  • "that shouldn't belong here, it should belong over there on that page"

"weightlessness can be exhilarating, and partly explains why it's so easy to lose track of time on the web-the same as when we're "lost" in a good book" 59

ah, the dreaded youtube syndrome. How many times have you clicked on a video, read the related list, clicked on another, and another....and 2 hours have passed? Youtube is a blessing and a curse because so many options are presented to you at the same time. You don't have to go looking for them. The speed factor is also another reason. We have so much information at our fingertips-people today can now absorb so much more information in a short amount of time. IMDB, Wikipedia, and Youtube: they're all fascinating labyrinths. Sometimes I even forget what the original video I was watching was. Getting lost on youtube is enjoyable: getting lost on the Nike website was not. It's also easier to get lost when you're not looking for something in particular. Trust me: I ended up all the way across Paris due to browsing.

"Amazon was one of the first online bookstores (if not the first) to drop the title/author/keyword option from their search box and just take whatever I threw at them" 68

I hate textbook shopping time. However, amazon,com is usually the starting point from where I get all my information. They may not always have the best prices, but all I have to do is type the title in and I get the author, edition, ISBN, and price. What makes amazon so unique is its organization. It' s the wikipedia of bookstores: it may not be the solution, but provides information to help you find it somewhere else.


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