[Video Demo on YouTube]

The InfoScent Evaluator (ISEtool) is a semi-automated tool developed by the HCI Group of the University of Patras. The aim of the tool is to facilitate the identification of navigability and findability impasses in the user's interaction with a Web site. ISETool evaluates the semantic appropriateness of the hyperlinksʼ descriptions presented in a Web site based upon Information Foraging Theory, and using semantic similarity measures (e.g. Latent Semantic Analysis - LSA) to exploit computationally the theoretical model. 

The basic underlying assumption in ISEtool is that users have some information goal and their surfing patterns through the site are guided by information 'scent'. Information scent is defined as the imperfect perception of the value, cost, or access path of information sources obtained from proximal cues (i.e. snippets of information), such as WWW links (Card et al 2001, Pirolli 2007). Semantic similarity measures are used to quantify this concept of information scent. This is achieved by estimating the semantic similarity of each link-label to a textual description of a user goal.

ISETool can be used in the early phases of design to explore 'what-if' scenarios but also supports formative usability evaluations, reducing the need to involve actual users, which is costly and time-consuming.

Download and use ISETool

The tool is still evolving and is currently used for research purposes.When it reaches a mature enough level we will make it publicly available for a wider use

However, since some people have already expressed their interest in using the tool, you can ask to try it out at ckatsanos[at]ece[dot]upatras[dot]gr

Recent articles related to ISETool

[j54] Katsanos C., Tselios N., Avouris N. (2010). Evaluating website navigability: Validation of a tool-based approach through two eye-tracking user studies. New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia, Issue(Volume), p.p., doi:
[c146] Tselios N., Katsanos C., Avouris N. (2009). Investigating the Effect of Hyperlink Information Scent on Usersʼ Interaction with a Web Site.In Proceedings of the 12th IFIP TC13 Conference in Human-Computer Interaction, Interact 2009, LNCS 5727, Part II (pp. 138-142), Uppsala, Sweden: Springer Verlag, August 24-28, 2009
[c132] Tselios N., Katsanos C., Avouris N. (2007). Beyond user centered design: A web design approach based on information foraging theory. Proceedings of Workshop Are New Methods Needed in User-Centered System Design?, INTERACT 2007, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 10-14 September 2007
[v16] Tselios N., Katsanos C., Kahrimanis G., Avouris N. (2007).Design and evaluation of Web-based Learning Environments using Information Foraging models . In C. Pahl (ed.), Architecture Solutions for E-Learning Systems, Idea Group Publishers.
[c125] Katsanos C., Tselios N., Avouris N. (2006) InfoScent Evaluator: A semi-automated tool to evaluate semantic appropriateness of hyperlinks in a web site. In J. Kjeldskov & J. Paay (Eds.) Proceedings of OZCHI 2006, ISBN: 1-59593-545-2, pp. 373 – 376, 20-24 November 2006, Sydney, Australia: ACM Press


Last updated: 23/12/2009

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Hci Group | Electrical and Computer Engineering | University of Patras