Existing literature shows that navigation and visualization features play a significant role in successful Web shop design. Traditional Web shops, however, often lack a uniform, intuitive interface to navigate through products, while also providing an insightful overview of the product assortment. In this article, we employ ontologies for the presentation of product assortments in Web shops in order to ease the users’ process of finding their desired products. OntoNavShop visualizes the product assortment ontology directly in a Web browser using a circular view algorithm that outputs SVG graphics. Consumers can navigate uniformly through the ontology and zoom into its categories. The visualisa- tion is evaluated on efficiency, user satisfaction, and specific problems against a classical tree-based Web shop. Our evaluations under a representative group of users show that users maintain a better overview of the structure of the product assortment, while being able to find products more quickly (i.e., less time) and more efficiently (i.e., less clicks) than in our benchmark Web shop. The participants prefer the OntoNavShop over the classical approach, and the identified problems are rather minor.

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doi.org/10.26421/JWE17.3-4, hdl.handle.net/1765/113675
ERIM Top-Core Articles
Journal of Web Engineering
Department of Econometrics

Ruijgrok, P., Frasincar, F, Vandic, D, & Hogenboom, F.P. (2018). OntoNavShop: An Ontology-Based Approach for Web-Shop Navigation. Journal of Web Engineering, 17(3-4), 241–269. doi:10.26421/JWE17.3-4