Elizabeth Buie pondered:

> I'm wondering if a study of 30 people is sufficient to draw such
> general conclusions.

Possibly.  That's why we've been open about our methods, so that
others could try to duplicate the results.

Keep in mind that the entire Human Genome Project drew all of its
general conclusions from a *single* 38-year-old caucasian male from
Buffalo.  (So, in one sense, we're 30-times more rigorous. :) )

As you're well aware, 30 people selected at random is more than
enough to draw lots of conclusions.

How good was *our* selection process?  Are *these* conclusions doable
with this number?  We think we did things right, but time will tell.
We put the data and the methods out there.  People can try their own
experiments.  That's how science moves forward.

> I'm also thinking that the "search dominant" theory is related to
> information sites, not to shopping sites.

I'd love to hear what you think the differences between user behavior
on information sites and shopping sites is.  Since we've extensively
studied both, we haven't seen a whole lot of differences in the basic
behaviors surrounding navigation, scent, sense-making, foraging, or
any of the other theoretical foundations.  Maybe you have?


- o - o - o -
Jared M. Spool
User Interface Engineering
242 Neck Road
Bradford, MA 01835 USA
(978) 374-8300  fax: (978) 374-9175
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Web Sites That Work: Designing With Your Eyes Open
March 21 & 22  (Seattle, WA) --

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