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Clickstream Study Reveals Dynamic Web - Optimization Week of July 27, 2006

Optimization Week Issue #67, July 27, 2006

In this special issue we report on the largest browser study to date. University of Hamburg researchers instrumented browsers with JavaScript to empirically investigate how we interact with the Web. We include results from the "Off the Beaten Tracks" article as well as Eelco Herder's PhD thesis. The authors were kind enough to share their data with us.

The results from this study, as well as eye tracking studies, show that we rapidly scan and navigate websites foraging for useful information. We stay a few seconds on each page, and at lower bandwidths most of the load times are over 4 seconds. The article gives average web page statistics, heatmaps, and average search query lengths. Most importantly for web developers we report on average screen size data for designing web pages.

Clickstream Study Reveals Dynamic Web
A new browser study revealed a shift in how we interact with the Web. University of Hamburg researchers found the Web moving from static hypertext information to dynamic interactive services. Clickstream heatmaps and web page statistics show rapid interaction over smaller areas of the screen. The authors recommend that web developers create concise, flexible, and fast loading web pages to keep pace with the speed of web navigation.