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Evaluating Usage of Dynamic Web Site Structures Through Visualisation

Evaluating Usage of Dynamic Web Site Structures Through Visualisation
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Author(s): Stephen Sobol (Institute of Communication Studies, UK) and Catherine Stones (Institute of Communication Studies, UK)
Copyright: 2005
Pages: 23
Source title: Adaptable and Adaptive Hypermedia Systems
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Sherry Y. Chen (Brunel University, UK) and George D. Magoulas (University of London, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-567-2.ch016


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Web-based content is increasingly delivered via dynamic methods. Visualisation tools are required which reveal how users interact with such data structures in order to improve site design and structure, and to form the basis of adaptation rules. Using our DMASC system we describe a method for logging and visualising individual user paths through a database-driven Web site. We outline the visualisation challenges posed in representing dynamic data structures and representations of user movements within those structures. We introduce two new terms to describe approaches to visualising dynamic structures, template structure and served structure. We present a series of maps generated from real usage data and, through these, identify anticipated and unanticipated surf patterns. Through the presentation of case study material, we argue that visualisations are a useful part of good adaptive multimedia strategies and help form user model attributes.

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