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Authors: Greenberg, Saul
Ho, Geoffrey
Kaasten, Shaun
Keywords: Computer Science
Issue Date: 14-Sep-2000
Abstract: People frequently use the ubiquitous Back button found in most Web browsers to return to recently visited pages. Because all commercial browsers implement Back as a stack, previously visited branches of the tree are pruned; this means that people can quickly navigate back up the tree. The problem is that previously seen pages on alternate child branches are no longer reachable through Back. An alternate method is to implement Back on a recency model, where all visited pages are placed on a recency-ordered list with duplicates removed. This means that all previously seen pages are now available via Back. Because advantages and trade-offs exist in both methods, we performed a study that contrasted how people used stack vs recency-based Back. We found that people have a naïve mental model of how the conventional stack-based Back works, typically perceiving it as a recency list. People are also poor predictors of what pages will be displayed with both types of Back buttons. Finally, people seem evenly split over their preference of a stack vs recency-based Back button.
Appears in Collections:Greenberg, Saul

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