SIGIA-L Mail Archives: Re: SIGIA-L: wayfinding and navigation
Re: SIGIA-L: wayfinding and navigation
From: Jesper Lauridsen (jeslau_at_it.dk)
Date: Tue Apr 25 2000 - 08:10:40 EDT
> Well, while we are picking nits...
Well - I'll pick some more nits then!
> Peter Merholz:
> >The Web analog of wayfinding is, to state the obvious, 'navigation',
> >some type of visual landmark on the top of the page, and a list of
> >paths either across the top or down the left side.
Jesse James Garrett:
> Wayfinding and navigation are not one and the same. Wayfinding helps
> the user answer the question, "Where am I?" Navigation helps answer
> the question, "How do I get where I'm going?"
Although I agree with your initial statement that Wayfinding and Navigation
are not one and the same, I do not agree completely with your account of how
the two differ in actual fact.
Wayfinding is the process of finding a way to a particular location in an
expedient manner and to recognize the destination when reached (Peponis et.
al, 1990). As such it includes - but is not limmited to - orientation, which
basically is asking the question "Where am I?". However, the Wayfinding
process also involves the choice of a route and the continued verification
of that route. So, Wayfinding can be described as a the explicit
problem-solving task of getting from a to b in an efficient manner - this is
the traditional HCI perspective on Web interaction.
Navigation on the other hand is concerned with learning about an information
space which distinguishes it clearly from problem-solving and human-computer
interaction in general (Spence, 1999). As such it constitutes the more tacit
task of exploring "what's there", and involves browsing of a general purpose
or serendipitous kind (Catledge et al., 1995). The agent typically does not
have an explicit goal or destination, he/she displays and opportunistic
behaviour and tasks are often open.
Or perhaps Wayfinding is a component of Navigation?
Peponis, J., Zimring, C., and Choi, Y.K., (1990). Finding the Building in
Wayfinding. Environment and Behavior, 22 (5) 555-590.
Spence, R (1999). A Framework for Navigation. Int. J. Human-Computer Studies
Catledge, L. D. and J. E. Pitkow (1995). Characterizing Browsing Strategies
in the World Wide Web. I Proceedings of the Third International World-Wide
Web Confer-ence, Darmstadt Germany.
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