According to Danielson, people navigate in a cycle of habituation, prediction, and re-orientation:
- Habituation: While interacting with a web site, people become accustomed to its navigation mechanisms and overall systems. But it’s not just the currently viewed page that contributes to habituation: people may have memory of all pages they’ve experienced. For each navigation act, they bring prior knowledge and expectations.
- Prediction: From patterns of navigation within a web site and cues that provide ‘scent’ to information, such as link labels and link position, people predict the attributes of destination pages. They anticipate what comes nect while navigating.
- Re-orientation: Once a new page is reached, people familiarize themselves with it. Re-orientation occurs. The navigation on the new page now becomes incorporated into the navigator’s model of the site, and the cycle begins again.
From David R. Danielson ‘Transitional volatility in Web Navigation‘, cited in Kalbach (2007, p.34)