CHAPTER 2How we really use the Web

SCANNING, SATISFICING, AND MUDDLING THROUGH

Why are things always in the last place you look for them?Because you stop looking when you find them.CHILDREN’S RIDDLE

IN THE PAST TEN YEARS I’VE SPENT A LOT OF TIME WATCHING people use the Web, and the thing that has struck me most is the difference between how we think people use Web sites and how they actually use them.

When we’re creating sites, we act as though people are going to pore over each page, reading our finely crafted text, figuring out how we’ve organized things, and weighing their options before deciding which link to click.

What they actually do most of the time (if we’re lucky) is glance at each new page, scan some of the text, and click on the ...

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