Kiumars Naderi

Visualizing websites navigational structure with updating capability and integration in reverse card sorting system (Recapo)

Improvement of the Internet speed and its accessibility to people all over the world with reasonable price leads every day more people to spend their time on it. People use the Internet for different purposes like their daily routines, work, and hobbies.

Considering the fact that they are spending more time, it is reasonable to assume that they have more expectation from websites. Websites and applications should help people to achieve their objectives by providing faster/better technologies. Furthermore, web designers should consider the fact that people with different specialties form the Internet users with different needs. As a result, the Internet users have different inquiries and demand different services from the Internet.

Nowadays websites are more complicated because they have to cover different needs for all types of possible users they have. An obvious consequence is more web-pages for websites, and if they should be accessible to users, they have to be somehow linked together, most probably in a hierarchical manner. Mapping all pages linked together is known as Navigational Structure, which can be very complicated for a big website. At the same time pages should be well categorized in this hierarchical structure to give users the capability to reach them by proceeding from higher levels to lower ones.

The primary purpose of websites is to serve their users, and this happens by providing them with what they are looking. Sites are required to be designed in a way that any user has no difficulty finding needed information in the shortest time possible. To be more precise, it is essential that the user finds what in where he/she expects it to be. Otherwise, they get tired and lose interest; therefore the website fails to serve its purpose. In other words, the business related to this website loses its potential customer, and it is not what the business owner wants.

The testing capability of websites beforehand to see if they can serve their target users, would help designers to improve the navigational structure. Improvement of Navigational Structure of a website makes the corresponding website more user-friendly and can even be a reason to attract more people. In another word, it might be a reason to bring more profit to the business. The idea is to give a bunch of tasks to a particular group of people and ask them to find the solution on the target website. The tasks can be reasonable demands of target users and services which the site provides. It is better to choose candidates as similar as possible to the website/business target users, to reach more relevant feedback.

Participants start working on the tasks and the time they spend as well as the way they use to finish it will be recorded. Later by studying the results, designers can understand their flaws in the navigational structure and improve it to make more user-friendly websites at the end.