To test grouping of the links on the Detailed/Highlighted Home Pages, we devised an exercise based on Jacob Nielsens experience when revising the Sun Intranet web site. In his experiment, he asked different users of his site to group the links on the main page and to name the group of links with an appropriate title. He used a very limited number of users (four, as I recall from the WWW6 conference). He referred to this as the 80/20 rule you get 80 percent of the information in small sample. To obtain the remaining 20 percent of the information takes a very large sample. If you have time, a large sample is great. But in the world of the web, which changes daily, pursuing a large sample for the remaining 20 percent is probably not very valuable.
In our exercise we listed all links currently found on the detailed home page and then reduced the number of items to be sorted by eliminating:
This brought the number of links to sort down to 106 still a large number but more manageable than the original 204.
Sets of index cards were generated, each card with one link. Web users, representing various divisions and groups, were given a list of all the links and the index cards with the following instructions:
The following results were obtained.