Any business can build their own website. However, not all business can build an effective website, one that reaches out to their customers and target market. In fact, one of the most common mistakes of web designers is making information difficult to find. Understanding internet behavior is very important so that you can design your website accordingly.
There are different reasons why an individual is browsing the internet and you need to understand that each person also has a different way of getting information. Below are seven types of information seeking patterns in a digital setting.
Directed Browsing – this process is systematic and fast as the user already has a specific topic in mind. These kinds of users tend to ignore other information handed out to them and simply focuses on relevant content to what they are searching for.
Semi-directed Browsing – this is quite similar to directed browsing only that the user has a general idea instead of a specific idea. The process is still relatively fast but more content will be scanned to get more information.
Undirected Browsing – this process can be likened to channel surfing. Social media sites are a great example of undirected browsing. Users are not looking for specific content and might just be browsing out of curiosity or entertainment.
Known-item Search – this is much more specific than directed browsing. In this process, users already have a specific name for an item or product that they want to search and are most likely to use shortcuts to get their desired information.
Exploratory Seeking – this process can be considered as a very vague search because a user has a general idea of what they need but cannot exactly articulate it. This kind of internet behavior is perhaps the most time consuming and a lot of content are taken in.
Don’t Know What You Need To Know – Users who exhibit this internet behavior are the ones who usually read product reviews, online discussions and buyer guides.
Re-finding – Literally speaking, this pertains to users who are trying to look for content that they have already searched for or read. A lot of websites have a hefty percentage of returning visitors, most of which are retracing their search history.