In the 1990s, we dubbed the Internet the `information superhighway`. So why is it still so hard to find what we are looking for online? According to Prof. Wendy Hall of the University of Southampton, it is because the web is mostly linkless. What`s more, if we want the Web to be useful in our daily lives, web links will have to become much more personal.
Prof. Hall is head of Southampton`s Intelligence, Agents, Multimedia (IAM) Research Group. She says that hand-crafted websites generally contain few links because they are too difficult to maintain. `It is hard enough to maintain the content, let alone the links.`
Web links are also notoriously frustrating. Computers let us click on objects and text, but only to follow information paths that have already been chosen. Using current systems, users are destined to remain forever lost in cyberspace, because designers cannot anticipate each of the thousands of different ways that people might want to use - and develop - the information contained within their pages.
Dr Lloyd Anderson | alphagalileo
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