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3 Sep

The experiment used five versions of a web site designed for this study.

The experiment used five versions of a web site designed for this study.

Participants

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

We checked for results of age and Web experience from the dependent variables mentioned in the first five hypotheses, but we found only negligible differences-none significant. Had the websites within our study been more difficult to navigate or had our tasks necessitated use of search engines or any other Web infrastructure, we would 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 site contained information on Nebraska. We used a travel site because 1) in our earlier qualitative studies, many internet users said travel is regarded as their interests, and 2) travel content lent itself into the different writing styles we wanted to study. (más…)