How users assess Web pages for information seeking
Article first published online: 15 DEC 2004
Copyright © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Volume 56, Issue 4, pages 327–344, 15 February 2005
How to Cite
Tombros, A., Ruthven, I. and Jose, J. M. (2005), How users assess Web pages for information seeking. J. Am. Soc. Inf. Sci., 56: 327–344. doi: 10.1002/asi.20106
- Issue published online: 1 FEB 2005
- Article first published online: 15 DEC 2004
- Manuscript Revised: 12 FEB 2004
- Manuscript Accepted: 12 FEB 2004
- Manuscript Received: 7 AUG 2003
In this article, we investigate the criteria used by online searchers when assessing the relevance of Web pages for information-seeking tasks. Twenty-four participants were given three tasks each, and they indicated the features of Web pages that they used when deciding about the usefulness of the pages in relation to the tasks. These tasks were presented within the context of a simulated work-task situation. We investigated the relative utility of features identified by participants (Web page content, structure, and quality) and how the importance of these features is affected by the type of information-seeking task performed and the stage of the search. The results of this study provide a set of criteria used by searchers to decide about the utility of Web pages for different types of tasks. Such criteria can have implications for the design of systems that use or recommend Web pages.