Edited by Herre van Oostendorp
[Information Design Journal 14:1] 2006
► pp. 8–21
'I have been here before'
An investigation into spatial verbalizations in hypertext navigation
We conducted an explorative study to investigate whether hypertext users use spatial expressions to conceptualize cognitive actions they are involved in, and how these expressions relate to the type of actions (executions versus evaluations) and the level of actions (syntactic vs. semantic vs. pragmatic). As a method, we used ten thinking aloud protocols of hypertext users who were navigating a website. The results of the protocol analysis indicate that spatial expressions were most frequent when users describe executions on the syntactic action level. The exploration allows us to critically assess the value of the thinking aloud method to shed light on the cognitive actions and processing involved in using hypertext.