The experiment used five versions of a web page created for this study.
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The experiment used five versions of a web page created for this study.

Participants

The participants were 51 experienced internet users recruited by Sun (average quantity of Web experience was two years). Participants ranged in age from 22-69 (average age was 41). So that they can give attention to „normal users,” we excluded the professions that are following the analysis: webmasters, Web designers, graphic artists, user interface professionals, writers, editors, computer scientists, and computer programmers.

We checked for outcomes of age and Web experience regarding the dependent variables mentioned in the first five hypotheses, but we found only differences-none significant that is negligible. Had the websites inside our study been more challenging to navigate or had our tasks necessitated use of search engines or other Web infrastructure, we might have expected significant ramifications 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,” the website contained information on Nebraska. We used a travel site because 1) within our earlier qualitative studies, many Web users said travel is one of their interests, and 2) travel content lent itself into the writing that is different we wanted to study. We chose Nebraska to attenuate the write my research paper cheap result of prior knowledge on our measures (in recruiting participants, we screened out people who had ever lived in, or even near, Nebraska).

Each version of the Travel Nebraska site consisted of seven pages, and all versions used the hypertext structure that is same. To ensure participants would concentrate on text and never be distracted, we used hypertext that is modestwith no links away from site) and included only three photos and something illustration. There was no animation. Topics included in the site were Nebraska’s history, geography, population, tourist attractions, and economy. The Appendix for this paper shows parts of a sample page from each condition.

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

The scannable version also contained marketese, however it was written to encourage scanning, or skimming, for the text for information of interest. This version used bulleted lists, 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 just how to make use of the browser, the experimenter explained which he would observe through the room across the street towards the 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 during the site’s homepage. The initial two tasks were to look for specific facts (situated on separate pages into the site), without the need for a search tool or perhaps the „Find” command. The participant then answered Part 1 of a brief questionnaire. Next was a judgment task (suggested by Spool et al. 1997) when the participant first had to find relevant information, then make a judgment about it. This task was followed by Part 2 regarding the questionnaire.

Next, the participant was instructed to blow ten minutes learning whenever you can from 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 regarding the website, to the best of his or her recollection.

After completing the research, each participant was told factual statements about the research and received a gift.

Task time was the amount of seconds it took users to find answers when it comes to two search tasks plus one 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, when it comes to population?” The questions for the judgment task were: „In your opinion, which tourist attraction is the right one to consult with? How come you would imagine so?”

Task errors was a percentage score in line with the number of incorrect answers users gave in the two search tasks.

Memory comprised two measures from the exam: recall and recognition. Recognition memory was a portion score in line with the number of correct answers without the amount of incorrect answers to 5 questions that are multiple-choice. For example, one of the questions read: „that will be Nebraska’s largest group that is ethnic? a) English b) Swedes c) Germans d) Irish.”

Recall memory was a percentage score in line with the quantity of tourist attractions correctly recalled minus the number incorrectly recalled. The question was: „can you remember any names of tourist attractions mentioned into the website? Please utilize the space below to list most of the ones you remember.”

Time to recall site structure was the true wide range of seconds it took users to attract a sitemap.

A measure that is related sitemap accuracy, was a share score based on the amount of pages (maximum 7) and connections between pages (maximum 9) correctly identified, minus 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 facets of working together with the site, and other questions asked for an assessment of how good adjectives that are certain the site (anchored by „Describes the site very poorly” to „Describes the website very well”). All questions used 10-point Likert scales.