Results from the Third WWW User Survey
Pitkow, James Edward
Kehoe, Colleen Mary
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The tremendous success of the World Wide Web has led to an ever-increasing user base. Intuitively, one would expect this base to change over time as more people from different segments of the population become Web users and advocates. What exactly have these changes been? How do the original Web users differ from the new users from major online service providers like Prodigy? What trends exist and what picture do they paint for the future of the Web user population? This paper, drawing on results from three User Surveys spanning over a year and a half, attempts to answer these and other questions about who is using the Web and why. Additionally, a review of the methodology, questionnaires, and new architectural enhancements is presented. Although the surveys lack the scientific rigor of controlled and accepted methods of surveying, we discuss analyses that help us understand the limitations and process of this new type of surveying. Finally, new quantitative analysis techniques are presented based upon post-hoc log file analysis, yielding guidelines for Web-based survey design.