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"Lazar, Jonathan" <[log in to unmask]>
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Lazar, Jonathan
Mon, 3 Mar 2003 16:19:11 -0500
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        Issue 3 of IT&Society (, a free online journal, contains 11 articles devoted to the topic of Web navigation and user frustration. As the editors of this peer-reviewed issue state at the outset, "The amazing wealth and information and profusion of services available on the Internet are only useful when people can access them successfully". 

. Among some of the findings and conclusions in the issue:

     Up to 45% of user's time is wasted because of some computer or software malfunction or user inability to use them
     Particular problems were found at government websites, even by skilled users, as they sought statistical data or tax information
     Web health categories suggested by even inexperienced senior users were more  helpful than those created by Web site designers or medical specialists
     By moving beyond "hub-and-search" strategies, nurses who were experienced Web users were able to extract dramatically more information about osteoporosis for their patients than nurses who were inexperienced users
     Web users seem particularly unfamiliar with efficient or optimal uses of the BACK button, the most-often use key on the keyboard.
     Non-profit organizations face particularly difficult issues in designing efficient and effective Websites

Three computer and information scientists, Ben Shneiderman of the University of Maryland, Jonathan Lazar of Towson University and Melody Ivory at the University of Washington, edited this special issue. They all welcomed the bridge this issue provides in combining the talents of computer scientists and social scientists to work towards a 100% success rate in the public's ability to access Web information.

IT&Society is jointly published and edited at Stanford University' s SIQSS and the University of Maryland on a quarterly basis. The two previous issues of the journal have examined: 1) information technology (IT) and sociability (largely finding that Internet use is not associated with decreased sociability), and  2) IT and other daily activity (with sleep and TV time being the main activities lower among Internet users). 

Dr. Jonathan Lazar
Department of Computer and Information Sciences
Towson University
8000 York Road
Towson, Maryland USA
Phone: 410-704-2255
Fax: 410-704-3868
E-mail: [log in to unmask]