Navigation in Hypertext

Browsing Strategies

The experiments by De Vocht distinguish the following browsing strategies:

  • Breadth-first navigation is achieved by first visiting all nodes that are only one link away from the "starting" node, (following the link to such a node, reading it, and backing out to the starting node).
  • Depth-first navigation is achieved by following links to nodes further and further away from the "starting" node. Only when a node with no outgoing links is reached the path is followed backwards until a new (forward) link is found.
  • Random navigation is when nodes are visited in random order (in an order which doesn't relate to the structure of the hyperdocument, except that only nodes are chosen to which a link exists from the nodes that were visited before. Basically this means that the user builds a list of possibly interesting nodes to visit (judging from the links leading to them).
  • A number of variations on both the breadth-first and the depth-first strategy can be considered, which differ in they way they limit the number of outgoing links that are considered per node.
    • Strategy 1 uses a fixed portion of the number of outgoing links per node.
    • Strategy 2 uses a fixed number of outgoing links per node.
    • Strategy 3 uses a random number of outgoing links per node.
  • A combination of depth-first and breadth-first is also possible: Strategy 4 does depth-first navigation up to a certain distance from the starting node, and does breadth-first navigation from there on.

Source: De.

Navigation in Hypertext Hypertext User Browsing Experiments

Last modified: 6 Nov 2002 by Kathy Nguyen Dang