Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 40(3) 172-182. Also Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, Shneiderman, B., Ed., Ablex (June 1993) 231-250.
This study explores the use of a hypertext system by patrons of three
museums. Data on the articles accessed, the time spent in each, the number of times the index was accessed, etc. were collected from a total of more than 5000 sessions. Results show
that visitors at all three museums used the embedded menus of the Hyperties hypertext system in moving from one article to another far more than the traditional index. Article selection appears to reflect anticipated interests of patrons at each museum s
uggesting success in traversing the database. At the third museum, the data collection was complemented by direct observation and interviews of the museum patrons. This approach appears to be more appropriate to analyze the usage data as well as to imp
rove the user interface and database structure.