Jakob Nielsen’s latest Alertbox is Information Foraging: Why Google Makes People Leave Your Site Faster

The article introduces us to “informavores” and the application of foraging strategies in animals to the way that people forage for information on the web. This serves not only as an interesting metaphor in considering web best practices but also reminds us that our sites (from a user’s perspective) are part of one large experience — using the Net and we need to account for this in creating effective sites.

“The big difference between websites and rabbits is that websites want to be caught. So how can you design a site to make your content attractive to ravenous beasts?

The two main strategies are to make your content look like a nutritious meal and signal that it’s an easy catch. These strategies must be used in combination: users will leave if the content is good but hard to find, or if it’s easy to find but offers only empty calories.”