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Studying the Internet Experience

Brown, Barry


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Abstract: Although the Internet has been incredibly successful as a technology there are a number of opportunities to improve users' internet experience. In this report we explore this through an in-depth qualitative interview study of internet use. The results from this work cover three different areas: the general organisation of internet use, shopping on-line and community activities. The organisation of browsing, in particular the management of bookmarks was found to be a difficult task for users. There is also a mismatch between users' tasks and individual web sites in that users' tasks often span multiple websites. For online shopping we explored its popularity and in particular the concerns of users with regard to privacy and security. This uncovered something of a "privacy paradox" between users complaints regarding privacy and their use of supermarket loyalty cards. Finally, in looking at community use of the internet we explored the increasing use of email to share photos and online buddy chat systems.

23 Pages

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