The bloodhound project: Automating discovery of web usability issues using the InfoScent™ simulator

Ed H. Chi, Adam Rosien, Gesara Supattanasiri, Amanda Williams, Christiaan Royer, Celia Chow, Erica Robles, Brinda Dalal, Julie Chen, Steve Cousins

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

According to usability experts, the top user issue for Web sites is difficult navigation. We have been developing automated usability tools for several years, and here we describe a prototype service called InfoScent™ Bloodhound Simulator, a push-button navigation analysis system, which automatically analyzes the information cues on a Web site to produce a usability report. We further build upon previous algorithms to create a method called Information Scent Absorption Rate, which measures the navigability of a site by computing the probability of users reaching the desired destinations on the site. Lastly, we present a user study involving 244 subjects over 1385 user sessions that show how Bloodhound correlates with real users surfing for information on four Web sites. The hope is that, by using a simulation of user surfing behavior, we can reduce the need for human labor during usability testing, thus dramatically lower testing costs, and ultimately improving user experience. The Bloodhound Project is unique in that we apply a concrete HCI theory directly to a real-world problem. The lack of empirically validated HCI theoretical model has plagued the development of our field, and this is a step toward that direction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings
EditorsV Bellotti, T Erickson, G Cockton, P Korhonen
Pages505-512
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2003
EventThe CHI 2003 New Horizons Conference Proceedings: Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Ft. Lauderdale, FL, United States
Duration: Apr 5 2003Apr 10 2003

Other

OtherThe CHI 2003 New Horizons Conference Proceedings: Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
CountryUnited States
CityFt. Lauderdale, FL
Period4/5/034/10/03

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Keywords

  • Information Foraging
  • Information Scent
  • Usability Prediction
  • User Modeling
  • User Simulation
  • Web-based Services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

Cite this

Chi, E. H., Rosien, A., Supattanasiri, G., Williams, A., Royer, C., Chow, C., ... Cousins, S. (2003). The bloodhound project: Automating discovery of web usability issues using the InfoScent™ simulator. In V. Bellotti, T. Erickson, G. Cockton, & P. Korhonen (Eds.), Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings (pp. 505-512)