Human Computer Interaction


Most online shops do not provide advisory services that take advantage of expert product knowledge. Therefore, consumersmay spend a higher search effort than necessary to find products that serve their needs. This study investigates to what extentan ontology-based, “advisory” navigation menu can decrease a consumers’ search effort. For this purpose, we conducted alaboratory experiment with 159 participants to assess the impact of an ontology-based navigation menu on participants’information behavior in an online shop. Our log file-based comparison with a conventional navigation menu showed asignificant decrease of search effort for the advisory navigation menu. Comparison criteria include the number of productresult pages viewed, the number of detail pages viewed, and the amount of filters used in a session. Implications of thisresearch concern the development of online shop interfaces that use ontology-based product catalogues and therefore supportconsumers in their information search.