Impact of the Depth of Menu Organization on Users’ prediction and......

Document Type : مقالات پژوهشی


university of ferdowsi



Purpose: This research aims to investigate users’ views about the number of phases which users should go through to access information on library Websites; It attempts to investigate the depth of menu organization (or hierarchical structure of items) from the main page (Home) to related pages according to the principles of predictability and accessibility.
Methodology: 10 university library websites were examined by 30 MS and PhD students from different fields of sciences except library and information sciences. Based on a semi-structured questionnaire, they were interviewed during their navigation sessions and their opinions were recorded and analyzed.
Findings: Results show that any increase in the depth of menu would have adverse impact on predictability and would increase the time spent to find items. We also found that more layers in the menus would lead to mis-categorization in the structure of Websites; it means that depth of menu would have adverse impact on predictability if these items do not use self-descriptive and understandable labels.


Allen, R. B. (1983). Cognitive factors in the use of menus and trees: An experiment. IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communication. SAC-1, 333-336.
Asareh, F& Moradmand, A. (2005). Identify the main characteristics of the national library website design to provide a suitable model for improving the quality of national library of Iran. Information Science, 3 (9 & 10), 170-174
Asghari Poudeh, A (2002). A study of elements and features necessary for the design and evaluation of university library Websites. M.A Thesis in Library and information science, Psychology and Education science, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad
Brumfield, E. J. (2008). Using online tutorials to reduce uncertainty in information seeking behavior. Journal of Library Administration, 48, 365-377.
Calhoun, G. L. (1978). Control logic design criteria for multifunction switching devices, Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Human Factors Society.
Card, S. (1984). Visual search of computer cmmand menu. In Bouma, H., & Bouwhis, D. (Eds). Attention and Performance X, Control of Language Processes: Hillsdale, N. J.
Czerwinski, M. (1998). Web page design: Implication of Memory, Structure and Scent for Information Retrieval, CHI '82 Proceedings of the 1982 conference on human factors in computing systems. Proceeding of the CHI conference on human factors in computing systems , April 18-23.
Fattahi, R & Hasanzadeh, M (2004). Evaluation of methods for organizing information on the Web site of University Libraries. Libraries websites seminar article collection: design & evaluation Day 24, p 203-177
Forodi, N (2001). Evaluation of academic library Web pages and provide a model. M.A Thesis in Library and information science, medicine management and information science colledge. Iran university of medical science, Tehran
Gray, S. (1993). Hypertext and the technology of conversation. Westport, CT: GreenWood Press.
Heidari, GH. (2004). Evaluation of content of web sites worldwide document delivery services and document delivery services in order to study the proposal in document delivery services website in Iran. M.A Thesis in Library and information science, Psychology and Education Science, Shahid Chamran University of Ahwaz, Ahwaz
Heller, H., & Rivers, D. (1996). So you want to design for the web. Interactions, 3 (2). Retrieved August 13, 2010, from,1108/00330330410519198
Jacko, J. , Salvandy, G., & Koubek, R. (1995). Modelling of menu design in Computerizad Work. Interacting With Computers, 7, 304- 303.
Kiger, J. I. (1984). The depth/breadth trade-off in the design of menu-driven user interfaces. International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, 20, 201-213.
Larson, K., & Czerwinski, M. (2007). Web page design: Implications of memory, structure and scent for information retrieval. Los Angeles: ACM/ Addison-Wesley.
Lee, E., MacGroger, J., & Chao, G. (1986). Keyword-menu retrieval: An effective alternative to menu indexes. Ergonomics, 29 (1), 115- 130.
Leuthold S., Schmutz P., Bargas-Avila J. A., Tuch A. N., & Opwis K. (2011, October 22). Vertical versus dynamic menus on the world wide web: Eye tracking study measuring the influence of menu design and task complexity on user performance and subjective preference. Computers in Human Behavior, 27 (1), 459-472. Retrieved September 1, 2010 from the World Wide Web:
Lyons, C., & Kirkwood, H. (2009). Business library web sites sevisited: An updated review of the organization and content of academic business library web sites. Journal of Business & Finance Librarianship. 14, 333-347.
Miles, M. J., & Bergstrom, S. J. (2009). Classification of library resources by subject on the library website: Is there an optimal number of subject labels?, Information Technology and Librarirs, 28 (1),16-20.
Miller, D. P. (1981). The depth/breadth tradeoff in hierarchical computer menus. Retrieved September, 12, 2010, from
Norman, K. L. (1991). The psychology of menu selection: Designing cognitive control at the human/computer interface. Norwood, N.J.: Ablex Publishing Corporation.
Palmer, J.W. (2002). Web site usability, design, and performance metrics, Information Systems Research, 13 (2), 151-167.
Radosevich, L. (1997). Fixing web-site usability. InfoWorld, 19 ( 50), 81-82.
Robertson, G., McCraken, D., & Newell, A. (1981). The ZOG approach to man-machine communication. The International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, 14, 461-488.
Snowberry, K., Parkinson, S., & Sisson, N. (1983). Computer display menus. Ergonomics, 26, 699-712.
Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind in Socity: The development of higher Psychological vygotsky, thinking and speech. Newyork: Plenum Press (Original work published 1978).
Whalen, T., & Mason, C. (1981). The use of a tree-structured index which contains three types of design defacts (pp. 15-34). In The Design of Videotex Tree Indexes, Behavioural research and evaluation, department of communications, government of canada, ottawa, ontario.
Yamin firooz, M. (2003). Characteristics and components of the user interface of web sites. Faslname, 14th year. Issue 4, p.159-168
Zaphiris, P. G. (2007). Depth vs. Breath in the arrangement of web links. Site:
Zaphiris, P., & Mite, L. (1997). Depth vs Breadth in the arrangement web links. From