Exploring user navigation during online health information seeking

AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2006;2006:299-303.


Understanding online user behavior is essential for designing user-friendly consumer health Web sites. Transaction log analysis (TLA) provides a way to extract aggregate data about online behavior. This paper describes prevalent user navigation trends using TLA methods at ClinicalTrials.gov. Preliminary results suggest that users typically access low-level pages directly from Web-based search engines and consumer health sites/portals. A pilot user study is presented to illustrate a complementary research method that might be integrated with TLA to provide a multidimensional view of online health information-seeking behavior. Implications of the observed navigation behavior on the design of consumer health Web sites from TLA and users studies are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Behavior
  • Clinical Trials as Topic*
  • Data Collection / methods
  • Databases as Topic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Information Services
  • Information Storage and Retrieval / statistics & numerical data*
  • Internet
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Online Systems / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pilot Projects