Web Page Revisitation Revisited: Implications of a Long-term Click-stream Study of Browser Usage

Hartmut Obendorf, Harald Weinreich, Eelco Herder, Matthias Mayer


This paper presents results of an extensive long-term click-stream study of Web browser usage. Focusing on character and challenges of page revisitation, previous findings from seven to thirteen years ago are updated. The term page re-visit had to be differentiated, since the recurrence rate — the key measure for the share of page revisits — turns out to strongly depend on interpretation. We identify different types of revisitation that allow assessing the quality of current user support and developing concepts for new tools. Individual navigation strategies differ dramatically and are strongly influenced by personal habits and type of site visited. Based on user action logs and interviews, we distinguished short-term revisits (backtrack or undo) from medium-term (re-utilize or observe) and long-term revisits (rediscover). We analyze current problems and provide suggestions for improving support for different revisitation types.


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