Visualizing Your Web Browsing History

Charts, graphs, interesting statistics – whatever it may be, I’m often intrigued when people find new ways of looking at or representing data – especially when it’s somewhat boring data to begin with! I found an interesting tool the other day, and the gears have been turning as I try to think of ways that libraries could use this.

The tool is Voyage, an add-on for Firefox. Voyage creates a graphical representation of your web browsing history, and it helps you visualize what paths you followed to reach content.


There are a couple of potential applications that spring to mind here. Voyage could potentially be used for website usability. By creating a visual roadmap leading from start to data, people can better understand the routes users take in navigating their websites. Beyond just usability though, I can imagine this tool being useful to those who do library instruction by help them understand the same thing: how do users navigate to the content they need? By reviewing a user’s search history, a seasoned searcher might be able to help refine the person’s technique in order to make them more efficient.

People have a number of ways that they try to measure, examine, and interpret user data. Every little bit of data that we can analyze helps to refine the user’s experience, so now we have one more gadget in the tool belt.