DonnaM » Blog Archive » Designing for repeat visits

Designing for repeat visits

I ‘discovered’ a new information seeking behavior today and realised that I have never heard any discussion of particular design strategies for it. The behaviour was that of repeating a visit to a particular site or page.

Here’s how it happened:

I was doing some rewriting for an IA workshop. In this workshop, I talk about information seeking behaviours, give examples and ways to design for them. I include the 2 traditional ones – known item and exploratory information seeking. Pretty straightforward. I also talk about when people don’t know what they need to know, and how to design for that.

I was thinking about examples for each so looked at my browser history to remember what I had been doing recently. I realised that almost all of my web use didn’t fall into one of my ‘categories’ of information seeking – almost all of it was returning to things I had already visited (posts and articles I’d already read, sites that had design features I noticed, products I had previously looked up). In a week of browsing, there were very, very few times that I had started an information-seek from scratch.

That gave me a big surprise as I realised how much I revisit information, and how much I rely on memory, my URL history and del.icio.us to re-find information. It all made me wonder:

  • how prevalent this behaviour is
  • what design strategies we could use for this type of task

3 Responses to “Designing for repeat visits”

  1. Peter Merholz Says:

    Check out Keeping Found Things Found

  2. Donna Maurer Says:

    Cool, thanks!

  3. eric scheid Says:

    some more links here:

    http://iawiki.net/KeepingFoundThingsFound