My Tab Study: Apropos Links

February 5, 2009

There’s been lots of interest in the talk I gave at Mozilla last week on the early results of my web browsing study. I’m starting to realize that I’m far from the only one thinking about this stuff. Here are some interesting things I came across in the last week:

Andy Edmonds pointed me to an informal survey done by Dave Munger at Cognitive Daily on how many tabs people use. Dave found that most people had only 2-4 tabs open, and that younger people were likely to have more tabs open. But my favourite part was his finding that if you know who Jonathan Ive, Leo Laporte, and Esther Dyson are — you’re likely to have more tabs open.

Liz Blankenship told me about her project on Tab Visualization for an infoviz course at the University of Michigan. Their goal is to help browser users who tend to have “too many” tabs open at once make sense of the information overload they experience. I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with.

Also, I realized that I haven’t mentioned anything yet about Mozilla’s Test Pilot project, other than a brief mention in my last post. Test Pilot is a Mozilla Labs program that will allow people to do studies like mine on a massive scale. The goal is to have 1% of Firefox users opt-in to being participants in these kinds of studies. My study had 22 participants. Think hundreds of thousands, or even millions. Pretty cool. I can’t wait to see where it goes.