I'm curious about something that perhaps some of our fellows at
Yahoo! can shed some light on. I'm wondering what percent of visitors
access Yahoo! Mail from the Yahoo! home page rather than directly
from Yahoo! Mail. Also, are there any stats that indicate how many
people have their home page set to Yahoo! vs. something else?
Here's some context. A few years ago we were working w/Cornell for a
site that combines content with a number of applications. Similar in
that respect to Yahoo! Some of the directors argued that people don't
come in through the home page, but rather directly by bookmarking the
project/application. Our research was indicating otherwise. Based on
traffic analysis and ethnographic-based interviews, we found a little
over 70% actually typed in the main URL and then accessed the
application. The reasons? Well, we found the following contributed:
1. The main domain was easier to remember than the domain to the app
2. It's very typical to have an unmanageable, unnavigable list of
bookmarks. So, while people were bookmarking things, they tended to
avoid their bookmarks when possible - "I need a way to search through
and organize my bookmarks."
3. Members/participants/customers were often accessing from work and
their work machines had default home pages set to the company
intranet page - they never changed it.
So, does anyone have data that either validates, or challenges these
findings? Again, I think Yahoo! is probably the closest to the model
we were up against.
(BTW, I know the most correct answer is to simply look at the log
files for the current site/application, but you know how stake
holders and researchers (like me) like to get additional data).
Todd Zaki Warfel
Partner, Design & Usability Specialist
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.