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The experiment used five versions of a site created for this research.

The experiment used five versions of a site created for this research.


The participants were 51 experienced Web users recruited by Sun (average level of Web experience was a couple of 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 artists, user interface professionals, writers, editors, computer scientists, and computer programmers.

We checked for ramifications of age and Web experience in the dependent variables mentioned in the first five hypotheses, but we found only negligible differences-none significant. Had web sites inside our study been more difficult to navigate or had our tasks necessitated use of search engines or any other Web infrastructure, we might 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 gender and employment status.

Experimental Materials

Called “Travel Nebraska,” the website contained information about Nebraska. We used a travel site because 1) in our earlier qualitative studies, many Web users said travel is one of their interests, and 2) travel content lent itself to your writing that is different we wished to study. We chose Nebraska to attenuate the effect of prior knowledge on our measures (in recruiting participants, we screened out those who had ever lived in, and even near, Nebraska).

Each form of the Travel Nebraska site consisted of seven pages, and all versions used the hypertext structure that is same. In order that participants would give attention to 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 within the site were Nebraska’s history, geography, population, tourist attractions, and economy. The Appendix for this paper shows elements of an example page from each condition.

The control form of your website had a promotional type of writing (for example., “marketese,”), which contained exaggeration, subjective claims, and boasting, rather than just simple facts. Today this style is characteristic of many pages on the Web.

The concise version had a promotional writing style, but its text was much shorter. Certain less-important information was cut, bringing the phrase count for each page to about half that of the corresponding page in the control version. Some of the writing in this version was in the inverted style that is pyramid. However, all information users necessary to perform the necessary tasks was presented into the same order in homework experts all versions of this site.

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

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

After making sure the participant knew simple tips to utilize the browser, the experimenter explained that he would observe from the room across the street to the lab through the one-way mirror. Through the entire study, the participant received both printed instructions from a paper packet and verbal instructions from the experimenter.

The participant began in the site’s homepage. The initial two tasks were to look for specific facts (situated on separate pages within the site), without needing a search tool or even 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 needed to find information that is relevant then make a judgment about it. This task was followed by Part 2 regarding the questionnaire.

Next, the participant was instructed to spend ten full minutes learning as much as possible from the pages when you look at the website, when preparing for a exam that is short. Finally, the participant was asked to attract in some recoverable format the structure regarding the website, to the best of his / her recollection.

Each participant was told details about the study and received a gift after completing the study.

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

The 2 search tasks were to resolve: “about what date did Nebraska become a state?” and “Which Nebraska city may be the 7th largest, in terms of population?” The questions when it comes to judgment task were: “In your opinion, which tourist attraction is the right one to see? How come you imagine so?”

Task errors was a share score based on the true number of incorrect answers users gave within the two search tasks.

Memory comprised two measures through the exam: recall and recognition. Recognition memory was a portion score on the basis of the quantity of correct answers minus the wide range of incorrect answers to 5 questions that are multiple-choice. As an example, one of several questions read: “which will be Nebraska’s largest ethnic group? a) English b) Swedes c) Germans d) Irish.”

Recall memory was a share score on the basis of the true wide range of tourist attractions 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 for you to recall site structure was the true quantity of seconds it took users to attract a sitemap.

A measure that is related sitemap accuracy, was a share score in line with the wide range of pages (maximum 7) and connections between pages (maximum 9) correctly identified, without the quantity of pages and connections incorrectly identified.

Subjective satisfaction was determined from participants’ answers to a paper-and-pencil questionnaire. Some questions asked about specific areas of using the services of the website, as well as other questions asked for an evaluation of how well certain adjectives described the site (anchored by “Describes the site very poorly” to “Describes your website very well”). All questions used 10-point Likert scales.

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