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Previous Posts

Users are selfish, lazy and ruthless

Monday, October 25, 2004  

Nielsen's article about information foraging says that humans are inherently lazy. When we're using an intranet, we want maximum benefit for minimum effort.

While navigating, we constantly perform cost-benefit analyses:
  • What gain can I expect from this information?
  • What is the likely cost (time and effort) to discover and consume that information?

To support the behavior of your intranet users--to support "information snacking"--follow these three rules:

  • Support short visits
  • Encourage users to return
  • Emphasize search engine visibility and otherwise address users' immediate needs

About the Author

I'm Chris McGrath, an intranet consultant in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I've been working on intranets since 1997, and on plain ol' web sites for even longer. I run One Intranets, the firm that co-created ThoughtFarmer -- an enterprise collaboration platform for Windows-based intranets.