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91

Using Photographs to Increase Trust in a Website

According to Dr. Bob Bailey, current research and studies show that staff photographs increase peoples trust in a website. But they should be used with care. In a study of online shopping, the photographs had a positive impact on non-experienced shoppers, while some experienced shoppers rejected them as fluff.

Links:

  • The article Using Photographs to Increase Trust in a Website Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - May 19, 2003

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See also: Credibility, Trust and Privacy (6) 


 

92

Searching vs. linking on the web

Sanjay J. Koyani and Robert W Bailey have surveyed the available literature on linking and searching. They have organized their findings into a series of observations and guidelines.

Some highlights:
- Users have no predisposition to searching or linking, and designers need to accommodate both strategies.
- Users are generally more effective when using links than search
- Advanced search features don't help users
- Users are progressively less and less likely to succeed with additional searches, and designers should make every effort to ensure that users get relevant results on their first attempt
- Designers need to be aware of, and make provision for, the terms that users typically will use for searching
- Search should accommodate misspellings, inappropriate case, spaces and punctuation, misused plurals, and typing errors

Links:

Henrik Olsen - May 17, 2003

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See also: Search (27)  Navigation (63) 


 

93

Usability Myths Need Reality Checks

Will Schroeder looks at some common Usability myths that have cemented themselves into our profession's foundation and started questioning how they got there.

Links:

  • UIE - Usability Myths Need Reality Checks Open link in new window

Tim Lucas - March 23, 2003

Permanent link Comments (5)

See also: Web page design (40)  Navigation (63)  Usability testing (68) 


 

94

Browsing vs. searching for product information

UIE have tested whether users shopping online prefer to search or use category links when looking for specific products. They found that the design of the site and the type of products being sold determined user behaviour.

Even though many users claim that they always go to search immediately, there wasn't a single user in the study who always chose the search engine first. On the contrary, 20% of the participants chose links exclusively.

UIE concludes that users seem to use the search engine as a fallback when links doesn't satisfy their needs.

Links:

  • The article Are There Users Who Always Search? Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - March 21, 2003

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See also: Navigation (63)  Search (27) 


 

95

How experts evaluate web sites' credibility

In parallel with Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab's study of how average people evaluate web sites' credibility, Sliced Bread Design and Comsumer WebWatch conducted a study of how industry experts rate credibility of the very same sites. The results showed that experts were far less concerned about visual appeal and more about the quality of a site's information.

The comparative studies suggest that while people without deep knowledge and personal interest in a site will judge it by its visual design, people involved in a site's professional domain are more concerned about the quality and accuracy of the content.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - March 19, 2003

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See also: Credibility, Trust and Privacy (6)  Expert reviews (11) 


 

96

Cascading vs. index menu layouts

SURL has compared user performance and satisfaction of horizontal and vertical cascading menus to a categorical index menu layout. They found considerable differences in task completion times that strongly favoured the index menu. The poorest performer, both objectively and subjectively, was the horizontal dropdown menu.

Links:

  • The article Cascading versus Indexed Menu Design Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - March 16, 2003

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See also: Navigation (63) 


 

97

The Internet has become a mainstream information tool

Pew Internet & American Life Project have done a survey on how Americans engage online with government, health care providers, the news media, and commercial enterprises. The study shows that Americans have high expectation about the information and services available online. For many Internet users, the web is the first place to which they turn, when they need key information.

Some interesting findings:
- 70% of all American internet users said that they mostly find what they want when they look for information online
- 63% say they expect to find information at a store's Web site about a product they may want to purchase
- If a store provides information online, even if it doesn't sell products at its Web site, 46% said this would make them more likely to go to the physical store to buy the product
- 85% of those who have ever bought products online say that they always (29%) or most of the time (56%) are able to find and buy the products they seek

Links:

  • The report Counting on the Internet Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - March 10, 2003

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: E-commerce (27) 


 

98

How people evaluate a web site's credibility

Consumer WebWatch has published a research report by B. J. Fogg and the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab on how people evaluate web sites' credibility. 100 sites in 10 content categories were studied and total of 2,684 people completed the survey.

When asked to comment on site's credibility, the top 10 issues addressed by the survey participants was:

1. Design Look (46.1%)
2. Information Design/Structure (28.5%)
3. Information Focus (25.1%)
4. Company Motive (15.5%)
5. Information Usefulness (14.8%)
6. Information Accuracy (14.3%)
7. Name Recognition and Reputation (14.1%)
8. Advertising (13.8%)
9. Information Bias (11.6%)
10. Writing Tone (9.0%)

Links:

  • The research report How Do People Evaluate a Web Site's Credibility? Open link in new window
  • Discussion on why visual design is so prominent in the study Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - March 04, 2003

Permanent link Comments (3)

See also: Credibility, Trust and Privacy (6)  Visual design (19) 


 

99

The web has grown into a commercial tool

A study of search behaviour published in march 2002 suggests that the web has evolved from an entertainment into a business and information medium in the period from September 1997 to May 2001. Search topics have shifted from pornography and entertainment to subject related to commerce, travel, employment, or economy (24,7%) and people, places, or things (19,7%).

While search topics have shifted, the study showed little change in user search behaviours. Some key findings:
- Most people submit a single short query (27%)
- Users are viewing fewer search results pages (51% view only one page)
- The use of Boolean operators has increased from 5 to 10 percent

The study included more than one million search queries submitted by more than 200,000 users of the Excite search engine.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - March 02, 2003

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Search engines (7) 


 

100

Scrolling is faster that paging

SURL has examined the use of paging vs. scrolling in reading passages of text. The study showed that that it took the participants significantly longer to read text split into multiple pages compared to full text layouts, where they had to scroll.

"Participants stated that they found the Paging condition to be "too broken up," and that they had to "go back and forth" quite a bit to search for information. It is possible then, that for searching as well, viewing more of the document on a single screen facilitated easier scanning."

Links:

  • The article The Impact of Paging vs. Scrolling on Reading Online Text Passages Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - February 27, 2003

Permanent link Comments (1)

See also: Navigation (63)  Web page design (40) 


 

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