Users think waiting for downloads and search engine results is boring and a waste of the time.

Users think waiting for downloads and search engine results is boring and a waste of the time.

More than half the participants mentioned this specifically. “I love to enter into an online site and then get out. I do not love to lull around,” one participant said. Someone else complained about slow downloading of graphics: “I want to see one good picture. I do not like to see a lot of pictures. Pictures are not worth waiting around for.”

Study 1 employed a measure that is novel of’ boredom. Participants were instructed to pick up a marble from a container on the table and drop it into another container whenever they felt bored or felt like doing something else. Together, the 11 participants moved 12 marbles: 8 marbles while waiting for a full page to download, 2 while waiting around for search results to look, and 2 when struggling to find the requested information. (Participants failed to bear in mind to utilize the marbles if they were bored). After Study 1, we abandoned the marble way of measuring boredom. Instead, we relied on spoken comments in Study 2 and a traditional press the site subjective satisfaction questionnaire in Study 3.

Conventional Guidelines for Good Writing are Good

Conventional guidelines include carefully organizing the info, using words and categories that produce sense into the audience, using topic sentences, limiting each paragraph to 1 main idea, and supplying the right amount of information.

“You can not just throw information up there and clutter up cyberspace. Anybody who makes a site should make the effort to organize the information,” one participant said.

While looking for a particular recipe in Restaurant & Institution magazine’s website, some of the participants were frustrated that the recipes were categorized because of the dates they starred in the magazine. “This doesn’t help me find it,” one person said, adding that the categories would make sense to your user if they were types of food (desserts, as an example) in the place of months.

Several participants, while scanning text, would read just the sentence that is first of paragraph. This shows that topic sentences are important, as it is the “one idea per paragraph” rule. One person who was simply attempting to scan a paragraph that is long, “It really is not to easy to find that information. That paragraph should be broken by them into two pieces-one for every topic.”

Clarity and quantity-providing the amount that is right of extremely important. Two participants who looked at a white paper were confused by a hypertext link at the bottom of Chapter 1. It said only “Next.” The participants wondered aloud whether that meant “Next Chapter,” “Next Page,” or something like that else.

Additional Findings

We also discovered that scanning could be the norm, that text ought to be short (or at least broken up), that users like summaries while the inverted writing that is pyramid, that hypertext structure could be helpful, that graphical elements are liked when they complement the text, and therefore users suggest there is certainly a role for playfulness and humor in work-related websites. Most of these findings were replicated in Study 2 and are discussed when you look at the section that is following.

Because of the difficulty with navigation in Study 1, we chose to take users straight to all pages and posts we wanted them to learn in Study 2. Also, the tasks were made to encourage reading larger amounts of text rather than simply picking out a fact that is single the page.


We tested 19 participants (8 women and 11 men), ranging in age from 21 to 59. All had at least five months of experience utilizing the Web. Participants came from a number of occupations, mainly non-technical.

Participants said they use the internet for technical support, product information, research for school reports and work, employment opportunities, sales leads, investment information, travel information, weather reports, shopping, coupons, real estate information, games, humor, movie reviews, email, news, sports scores, horoscopes, soap opera updates, medical information, and historical information.

Participants began by discussing why they normally use the net. They then demonstrated a favorite website. Finally, they visited three sites that individuals had preselected and performed assigned tasks that required reading and answering questions about the sites. Participants were instructed to “think out loud” through the entire study.

The three preselected sites were rotated between participants from a set of 18 sites with a number of content and writing styles, including news, essays, humor, a how-to article, technical articles, a news release, a diary, a biography, a movie review, and political commentary. The assigned tasks encouraged participants to see the text, rather than search for specific facts. The task instructions read as follows for most of the sites

“Please go to the following site, which will be bookmarked: site URL. Take several moments to see clearly. Feel free to have a look at what you would you like to. In your opinion, do you know the three most crucial points the author is trying which will make? We will ask you some questions. once you get the answers,”

We observed each participant’s behavior and asked questions that are several web sites. Standard questions for every single site included

  • “What can you say could be the purpose that is primary of site?”
  • “How would you describe your website’s design of writing?”
  • “How do you want the way in which it really is written?”
  • “How could the writing in this website be improved?”
  • “How user friendly is the website? Why?”
  • “just how much can you like this site? Why?”
  • “Have you got any advice for the writer or designer of this website?”
  • “Think back into the site you saw prior to this one. Associated with the two sites, which did you like better? Why?”

Simple and Informal Writing are Preferred

This aspect was produced by 10 participants, nearly all whom complained about writing that has been difficult to understand. Commenting on a movie review in a single site, another individual said, “This review needs a rewrite that is complete put it into more down-to-earth language, to ensure that just anybody could read it and understand.”

Some participants mentioned they like informal, or conversational, writing better than formal writing. “I prefer informal writing, because i love to read fast. I really don’t like reading every expressed word, and with formal writing, you have to read every word, and it also slows you down,” one person said.

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