The experiment used five versions of an internet site designed for this research.

The experiment used five versions of an internet site designed for this research.


The participants were 51 experienced Web users recruited by Sun (average number of Web experience was two years). Participants ranged in age from 22-69 (average age was 41). So as to give attention to «normal users,» we excluded the following professions from the study: webmasters, web site designers, graphic designers, graphical user interface professionals, writers, editors, computer scientists, and computer programmers.

We checked for effects of age and Web experience from the dependent variables mentioned in the 1st five hypotheses, but we found only differences-none significant that is negligible. Had the sites within our study been more difficult to navigate or had our tasks necessitated use of search engines or other Web infrastructure, we would have expected significant aftereffects of both age and Web experience.

The experiment employed a 5-condition (promotional control, scannable, concise, objective, or combined) between-subjects design. Conditions were balanced for employment and gender status.

Experimental Materials

Called «Travel Nebraska,» your website contained information on Nebraska. We used a travel site because 1) in our earlier qualitative studies, many Web users said travel is regarded as their interests, and 2) travel content lent itself towards the different writing styles we desired to study. We chose Nebraska to minimize the effect of prior knowledge on our measures (in recruiting participants, we screened out people who had ever lived in, and on occasion even near, Nebraska).

Each type of the Travel Nebraska site consisted of seven pages, and all versions used the hypertext structure that is same. In order that participants would focus on text and never be distracted, we used hypertext that is modestwith no links beyond your site) and included only three photos and another illustration. There was clearly no animation. Topics included in the site were Nebraska’s history, geography, population, places of interest, and economy. The Appendix for this paper shows components of a sample page from each condition.

The control type of the site had a style that is promotional of (i.e., «marketese,»), which contained exaggeration, subjective claims, and boasting, rather than just simple facts. This style is characteristic of numerous pages on line today.

The concise version had a writing that is promotional, but its text was much shorter. Certain information that is less-important cut, bringing the word count for every single page to about half compared to the corresponding page within the control version. A number of the writing in this version was at the inverted pyramid style. However, all information users needed to perform the required tasks was presented in the same order in all versions of the site.

The scannable version also contained marketese, nonetheless it was written to encourage scanning, or skimming, regarding the text for information of interest. This version used lists that are bulleted boldface text to highlight keywords, photo captions, shorter sections of text, and more headings.

The version that is objective stripped of marketese. It presented information without exaggeration, subjective claims, or boasting.

The combined version had shorter word count, was marked up for scannability, and was stripped of marketese.

The participant signed a videotape consent form, then was told he or she would visit a website, perform tasks, and answer several questions upon arrival at the usability lab.

After making certain the participant knew simple tips to make use of the browser, the experimenter explained which he would observe through the room next door to your lab through the one-way mirror. Throughout the study, the participant received both printed instructions from a paper packet and verbal instructions from the experimenter.

The participant began in the web site’s homepage. The very first two tasks were to look for specific facts (situated on separate pages when you look at the site), without needing a search tool or perhaps the «Find» command. The participant then answered Part 1 of a questionnaire that is brief. Next was a judgment task (suggested by Spool et al. 1997) where the participant first had to find relevant information, then make a judgment about this. This task was followed by Part 2 regarding the questionnaire.

Next, the participant was instructed to blow https://essay-writer.com ten full minutes learning whenever you can through the pages when you look at the website, in preparation for a exam that is short. Finally, the participant was asked to attract in writing the structure for the website, to your best of his or her recollection.

After completing the study, each participant was told information about the analysis and received something special.

Task time was the amount of seconds it took users to get answers when it comes to two search tasks and one judgment task.

The two search tasks were to answer: «about what date did Nebraska become a continuing state?» and «Which Nebraska city may be the 7th largest, with regards to population?» The questions for the judgment task were: «In your opinion, which tourist attraction will be the one that is best to consult with? Why do you believe so?»

Task errors was a portion score on the basis of the quantity of incorrect answers users gave within the two search tasks.

Memory comprised two measures through the exam: recall and recognition. Recognition memory was a share score on the basis of the number of correct answers without the quantity of incorrect answers to 5 multiple-choice questions. As one example, one of the questions read: «which can be Nebraska’s largest group that is ethnic? a) English b) Swedes c) Germans d) Irish.»

Recall memory was a share score on the basis of the true quantity of places of interest correctly recalled without the number incorrectly recalled. The question was: «Do you remember any true names of tourist attractions mentioned within the website? Please utilize the space below to list all the ones you remember.»

Time and energy to recall site structure was the amount of seconds it took users to attract a sitemap.

A related measure, sitemap accuracy, was a portion score based on the wide range of pages (maximum 7) and connections between pages (maximum 9) correctly identified, without the wide range of pages and connections incorrectly identified.

Subjective satisfaction was determined from participants’ answers to a paper-and-pencil questionnaire. Some questions inquired about specific components of working together with your website, along with other questions asked for an evaluation of how well adjectives that are certain the site (anchored by «Describes the website very poorly» to «Describes the site very well»). All questions used 10-point Likert scales.