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

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

Over fifty percent the participants mentioned this specifically. “I choose to go into a website and then get out. I do not like to lull around,” one participant said. Someone else complained about slow downloading of graphics: “I want to see one picture that is good. I do not want to see a great deal of pictures. Pictures are not worth looking forward to.”

Study 1 employed a novel way of measuring participants’ boredom. Participants were instructed to choose a marble up from a container up for grabs and drop it into another container every time they felt bored or felt like doing another thing. Together, the 11 participants moved 12 marbles: 8 marbles while waiting around for a page to download, 2 while waiting around for search results to show up, and 2 when not able to find the requested information. (Participants did not never forget to make use of the marbles when they were bored). After Study 1, we abandoned the marble technique for measuring boredom. Instead, we relied on spoken comments in Study 2 and a traditional satisfaction that is subjective in Study 3.

Conventional Guidelines for Good Writing are Good

Conventional guidelines include carefully organizing the information, using words and categories that make sense to the audience, using topic sentences, limiting each paragraph to one idea that is main and supplying the right level of information.

“You can not just throw information up there and clutter up cyberspace. Anybody who makes an online site should take the time to arrange the given 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 appeared in the magazine. “This doesn’t help me find it,” one person said, adding that the categories would make sense towards the user when they were types of food (desserts, for example) in the place of months.

Several participants, while scanning text, write my paper for me would read only the sentence that is first of paragraph. This shows that topic sentences are very important, as is the “one idea per paragraph” rule. One individual who was trying to scan a long paragraph said, “It is not very no problem finding that information. That paragraph should be broken by them into two pieces-one for every topic.”

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

Additional Findings

We also discovered that scanning could be the norm, that text should really be short (or at least broken up), that users like summaries plus the inverted pyramid writing style, that hypertext structure may be helpful, that graphical elements are liked if they complement the writing, and therefore users suggest there is certainly a task for playfulness and humor in work-related websites. Many of these findings were replicated in Study 2 and are also discussed in the section that is following.

Due to the problems with navigation in Study 1, we decided to take users directly to the pages we wanted them to learn in Study 2. Also, the tasks were made to encourage reading larger amounts of text in the place of simply picking out a single fact from 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 utilising the Web. Participants came from a variety of occupations, mainly non-technical.

Participants said they normally use the Web for technical support, product information, research for school reports and work, job 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 the Web is used by them. They then demonstrated a website that is favorite. Finally, they visited three sites that people had preselected and performed assigned tasks that required reading and answering questions regarding web sites. Participants were instructed to “think out loud” through the entire study.

The three preselected sites were rotated between participants from a collection of 18 sites with many different 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 learn the written text, rather than search for specific facts. For some regarding the sites, the task instructions read as follows:

“Please go directly to the site that is following that will be bookmarked: site URL. Take moments that are several see clearly. Feel free to glance at whatever you wish to. In your opinion, do you know the three most crucial points the author is trying in order to make? After you find the answers, we will ask you some questions.”

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

  • “What can you say may be the purpose that is primary of site?”
  • “How can you describe your website’s style of writing?”
  • “How do you would like the way it really is written?”
  • “How could the writing in this website be improved?”
  • “How easy to use could be the website? Why?”
  • “How much do you really like this site? Why?”
  • “Do you have any advice for the writer or designer with this website?”
  • “Think back once again to your website you saw just before this one. Of the two sites, which do you like better? Why?”

Simple and Informal Writing are Preferred

This point was created by 10 participants, lots of whom complained about writing that was hard to understand. Commenting on a film review in a single site, another person said, “This review needs a rewrite that is complete put it into more down-to-earth language, to make certain that just anybody could read it and understand.”

Some participants mentioned they like informal, or conversational, writing a lot better than formal writing. “I like informal writing, because I like to read fast. I don’t like reading every word, in accordance with formal writing, you need to read every word, and it also slows you down,” one individual said.