The experiment used five versions of an online site made for this study.


The participants were 51 experienced internet users recruited by Sun (average amount of Web experience was 24 months). Participants ranged in age from 22-69 (average age was 41). So that they can give attention to “normal users,” we excluded the following professions from the research: webmasters, web-site designers, graphic designers, graphical user interface professionals, writers, editors, computer scientists, and computer programmers.

We checked for aftereffects of age and Web experience from the dependent variables mentioned in the 1st five hypotheses, but we found only negligible differences-none significant. Had web sites in our study been more challenging to navigate or had our tasks necessitated use of search engines or other Web infrastructure, we would have expected significant outcomes 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 site contained information on Nebraska. We used a travel site because 1) within our earlier qualitative studies, many internet users said travel is one of their interests, and 2) travel content lent itself into the writing that is different we desired to study. We chose Nebraska to reduce the consequence of prior knowledge on our measures (in recruiting participants, we screened out those who had ever lived in, and sometimes 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 rather than be distracted, we used modest hypertext (without any links away from site) and included only three photos and another illustration. There clearly was no animation. Topics within the site were Nebraska’s history, geography, population, places of interest, and economy. The Appendix for this paper shows elements of a sample page from each condition.

The control type of your website had a style that is promotional of (i.e., “marketese,”), which contained exaggeration, subjective claims, and boasting, instead of just simple facts. This style is characteristic of several pages on the Web today.

The concise version had a promotional writing style, but its text was much shorter. Certain information that is less-important cut, bringing the term count for each page to about half that of the corresponding page within the control version. A number 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 in the same order in all versions of the site.

The version that is scannable contained marketese, however 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 make use of the browser, the experimenter explained which he would observe from the room next door to your lab through the one-way mirror. For the study, the participant received both printed instructions from a paper write my paper for me packet and verbal instructions from the experimenter.

The participant began at the web site’s homepage. The very first two tasks were to search for specific facts (found on separate pages in 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) in which the participant first had to find relevant information, then make a judgment about this. This task was followed by Part 2 of this questionnaire.

Next, the participant was instructed to blow ten full minutes learning as much as possible through the pages into the website, when preparing for a short exam. Finally, the participant was asked to attract on paper the dwelling regarding the website, into the best of his / her recollection.

After completing the study, each participant was told information regarding the research and received something special.

Task time was the true wide range of seconds it took users to locate answers for the two search tasks plus one judgment task.

The two search tasks were to resolve: “On what date did Nebraska become a state?” and “Which Nebraska city could be the 7th largest, when it comes 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 might think so?”

Task errors was a portion score based on the true amount of incorrect answers users gave when you look at the two search tasks.

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

Recall memory was a portion score in line with the true number of tourist attractions correctly recalled without the number incorrectly recalled. The question was: “Do you remember any true names of places of interest mentioned when you look at the website? Please use the space below to list all of the ones you remember.”

Time for you to recall site structure was the true quantity of seconds it took users to draw a sitemap.

A related measure, sitemap accuracy, was a percentage score on the basis of the wide range of pages (maximum 7) and connections between pages (maximum 9) correctly identified, minus the number of pages and connections incorrectly identified.

Subjective satisfaction was determined from participants’ answers to a paper-and-pencil questionnaire. Some questions inquired about specific aspects of working with your website, as well as other questions asked for an assessment of how good adjectives that are certain the website (anchored by “Describes the website very poorly” to “Describes your website very well”). All questions used 10-point Likert scales.