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MNav: A Markov Model-Based Web Site Navigability Measure

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3 Author(s)
Yuming Zhou ; Hong Kong Polytech. Univ., Kowloon ; Leung, H. ; Winoto, P.

Web site success is significantly associated with navigability, an important attribute of usability that denotes the ease with which users find desired information as they move through a Web site. Navigable Web sites allow users to form a mental model of the type and location of information in the Web site and an expectation of where and to what a particular hyperlink will lead. Existing navigability measures are based mainly on the static hyperlink structure of a Web site. Such measures, however, have two main drawbacks: 1) the effect on navigability of a hyperlink structure cannot be well characterized and 2) the effect on navigability of the navigation aids (such as the "Back" button provided by a browser) is ignored. In this paper, we abstract a dynamic Web surfing behavior as a Markov model which synthesizes typical surfing actions. Based on this model, we propose a novel navigability measure MNav. The experimental results show that MNav can be efficiently computed and it provides an effective and useful measurement of Web site navigability.

Published in:

Software Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:33 ,  Issue: 12 )

Date of Publication:

Dec. 2007

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