The paper seeks to propose a method for selecting menu items based on an analysis of user‐entered search terms. Menu pages inform users what is coming next and what questions are going to be answered by an information communication technology service. Menus need to reflect user needs. The paper aims to argue that users reveal the scope of their information needs by the words used in their search expressions and these can be analysed to inform menu titles.
The paper presents an analysis and classification of user search expressions that are automatically collected by the server. The paper examines the search expressions of about 1,000 users of the BBC site related to search expressions on diabetes.
The search expressions were classified, analysed and compared with the diabetes menu of three health sites: NHS Direct (www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk); BBC health (www.bbc.co.uk); and Diabetics UK (www.diabetes.org.uk). Finally, a six‐point menu is derived.
The practical implication of this paper is development of relevant web menus based on user information needs as revealed in search expressions entered by users.
This is the first explanation of how search logs can be used to construct menu lists. Previously menus have been designed at worst to suit producers and site designers based on the information that they have available and at best on interviews with small usability or focus groups who are not necessarily users.
Huntington, P. and Nicholas, D. (2006), "Improving the relevance of web menus using search logs: a BBCi case study", Aslib Proceedings, Vol. 58 No. 1/2, pp. 118-128. https://doi.org/10.1108/00012530610648716Download as .RIS
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