Between the clicks: Skilled users scanning of pages.
1996 (English)In: Designing for the Web: Empirical studies. October 30, 1996, Redmond, WA, USA, 1996Conference paper (Refereed)
When designing web-pages for intra-net applications the notion of search time become important. In such applications, there are typically a limited set of web-pages which users will traverse frequently. For instance pages including contents lists and lists of links to reference documents. These pages will be scanned many times each day and to achieve efficiency the layout should be chosen to optimize average search time, rather than to optimize legibility for the occasional user. In this paper, we describe some results from a series of experiments on skilled users scanning of a screen display, that are relevant also to web-page design. The effect of variations in page layout features on the average search time was measured. It was found that with a fix page layout, learning takes place so that frequent users develop effective scanning strategies. These strategies are adjusted to the probability of finding interesting information in different locations on the page. It was also found that scanning a horizontal listing of items is slower than scanning a vertical listing of items. Findings further indicate that scanning a single long vertical list is faster than scanning multiple shorter vertical lists. Fixed position is the key to fast scanning. Users learn the location and directs search immediately to the right location on the page. If the target item was given a unique feature, search time was, as expected, significantly decreased. There was no significant difference between the features: colour, shade, space, size and slant.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
human-computer interaction, visual search, page layout, display design
Computer and Information Science Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-31868OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-31868DiVA: diva2:59766