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

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

Participants

The participants were 51 experienced Web users recruited by Sun (average quantity of Web experience was 2 years). Participants ranged in age from 22-69 (average age was 41). So as to give attention to “normal users,” we excluded the professions that are following the study: webmasters, web site designers, graphic designers, user interface professionals, writers, editors, computer scientists, and computer programmers.

We checked for effects of age and Web experience regarding the dependent variables mentioned in the 1st five hypotheses, but we found only negligible differences-none significant. Had the sites within our study been more challenging to navigate or had our tasks necessitated use of search engines or any other Web infrastructure, we might have expected significant results 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 regarding Nebraska. We used a travel site because 1) inside our earlier qualitative studies, many Web users said travel is regarded as their interests, and 2) travel content lent itself towards the different writing styles we wanted to study. We chose Nebraska to attenuate 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 type of the Travel Nebraska site consisted of seven pages, and all versions used the hypertext structure that is same. Continue reading “The experiment used five versions of a web site created for this research.”