Summary:Users will often overlook the actual location of information or products if another website area seems like the perfect place to look.交叉引用和清晰的标签可以缓解这个问题。
Information scentrefers to the extent to which users can预测他们会发现什么if they pursue a certain path through a website.The term is part ofinformation foraging理论，which explains how users interact with systems using the analogy of animals hunting for food.
Predators following a strong spoor are firmly convinced that they'll find their prey at the end of the trail,因此，不太可能分心和偏离道路。
Similarly,if users are clicking through a site hunting for specific products or answers,只要他们继续找到能让他们越来越接近目标的链接，他们就会继续前进。
Information scent can逆火if astrong attractor seems to be the answer,但不是.We found an example of this is in the teen area ofkidshealth.org,which we recently tested in our study of howteenagers use the Web.
During our test,several teenage users failed the simple task of finding out how much they can weigh without being considered overweight.网站的一篇文章，manbetx官网手机登陆"What's the Right Weight for My Height?" is a great example of微含量: it's explicit,短，很容易理解。除了拥有一个好的头衔，这篇文章在一个名为“食品与健身”的网站区域有显著的特色，这个标签为我们的用户分配的任务提供了诱人的信息气味。这篇文章在寻找“重量”方面也相当高。
Great so far.Except the article doesn't contain the answer to the question.
Unfortunately,because the path to the article has good information scent,因为这篇文章本身有很强的信息气味，我们的users concluded that the site didn't contain the required information.After all,they'd found the one place where this information ought to be,and it wasn't there.
Why Users Give Up
如果信息的气味足够刺鼻，人们普遍相信他们找对地方.If that place doesn't contain what they want,they're likely to conclude that the site doesn't offer it at all.
我们在许多其他研究中也看到了这种效应，而且它经常会导致网站销售的损失。在我们的研究中电子商务网站的可用性,例如，用户正在为他们的汽车寻找婴儿座椅，从逻辑上看，我们正在测试的其中一个站点的汽车部分。那里没有婴儿座椅，所以没有销售。用户认为该网站没有销售他们需要的产品，因为它不属于他们认为他们会找到的类别。（事实上，the product was in a different section of the site,没有来自汽车区域的交叉引用。）
通常，当然，it's good when websites have both clearly defined navigation and labels that explicitly state what users will find at the other end of each link.当一些链接是清晰的（并且有很强的信息气味）而另一些链接是模糊的（并且有很弱的信息气味）时，问题就出现了。
在青少年的例子中，这个网站实际上包含了一个非常有用的方法来计算人们是否超重。信息，然而，is located in an article called "Body Mass Index (BMI)." Yes,标题简短而明确，但被认为是微观内容，它有两个问题：
- 这些词技术性强，令人生畏。用户不太可能点击类似的东西，除非他们擅长数学。Although located on a teen site,这个头衔似乎更多地针对医生。
- Worse,标题没有传达文章的内容。The link leads to a discussion of the relationship between weight,height,and age and contains charts to determine whether somebody would be considered overweight.
过度强烈的信息气味的标准解决方案是提供对所需位置的交叉引用。Even if you don't consider baby seats car accessories,例如，you should feature a see-also link from the car area to the baby seats elsewhere on your site.
But cross-references only work if the see-also link has good information scent.In the teen website example,the article "What's the Right Weight for My Height?" actually contains a link labeled "body mass index" that would have led users to the answer they were looking for.But,because the link text had very low information scent relative to the users' goal,他们忽视了这一点。
检查您的网站上的链接对或navigation categories其中一个标签上有很强的信息气味，可以找到其他地方的信息。If you find them,you're losing customers.