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Interest at First Glance In Print and Online Grabbing (and Keeping) the Reader’s Attention Roots: History of legibility/readablity/usability 1930s, 33,000 students tested: leading, fonts, size Miles A. Tinker, University of Minnesota Three Eyegaze Studies Eyes on the News 1991 (Print)

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Presentation Transcript
slide1

Interest

at First Glance

In Print and Online

Grabbing (and Keeping) the Reader’s Attention

slide2
Roots: History of legibility/readablity/usability
  • 1930s, 33,000 students tested: leading, fonts, size
  • Miles A. Tinker, University of Minnesota
three eyegaze studies
Three Eyegaze Studies
  • Eyes on the News 1991 (Print)
  • Neilson/Norman Usability Study 2005 (Online)
  • Eyetracking the News 2007 (Online and Print)
results eyes on the news 1991 print
Results: Eyes on the News 1991 (Print)
  • In 1991 the Soviet Union still existed, Eastern Airlines closed after sixty-two years in aviation, the IRA was still bombing London, and the Dow Jones closed above 3,000 for the first time.
  • Photos attract a lot of attention
  • Color pulls readers eyes
  • B/W as effective as color
results eyes on the news 1991 print6
Results: Eyes on the News 1991 (Print)
  • Readers look at photo or graphic first
  • Then headlines, cutlines & teasers, finally text

April 1991

results eyes on the news 1991 print7
Results: Eyes on the News 1991 (Print)
  • Teasers with graphic get more attention than without

1991 newspaper

results eyes on the news 1991 print8
Results: Eyes on the News 1991 (Print)
  • Treat two-page spread as one: reader looks right, then left
  • Color pulls readers eyes
results eyes on the news 1991 print9
Results: Eyes on the News 1991 (Print)
  • Color remembered/ readers lied
  • Eyetrack showed B/W same as color but readers thought they paid more attention to the color
neilson norman usability study 2005 online11
Neilson/Norman Usability Study 2005 (Online)
  • Existing web pages were rewritten and redesigned for the study. Participants compared original and rewritten versions
  • RESULTS
  • Readers engaged for 1/2 the time but remembered 34% MORE
  • F Pattern
results neilson norman usability study 2005 online
Results: Neilson/Norman Usability Study 2005 (Online)
  • REWRITE + REFORMAT = REMEMBER
  • Successful pages
  • Clear, had uncluttered navigation, no superfluous images.
  • Short text lines
  • Concise writing, front loaded the main points
  • Used bulleted lists, used information bearing words as links
results neilson norman usability study 2005 online13
Results: Neilson/Norman Usability Study 2005 (Online)

Sample of a “clean” website: good navigation, concise, lists

results neilson norman usability study 2005 online14
Results: Neilson/Norman Usability Study 2005 (Online)
  • Unsuccessful images:
  • Generic stock art, set up photos, images unrelated to context, image appearing as ads, muddy photos, low contrast photos.
results neilson norman usability study 2005 online15
Results: Neilson/Norman Usability Study 2005 (Online)
  • Successful images:
  • Good composition and cropping, real people, related to context, smiling people, people looking into camera.
results eyetracking the news 2007 print and online
Results: Eyetracking the News 2007 (Print and Online)
  • Compared:
  • Online News, Broadsheet Newspapers, Tabloid Newspapers
results eyetracking the news 2007 print and online20
Results: Eyetracking the News 2007 (Print and Online)
  • Remarkable Finding:
  • Once participants chose a story they read MORE thoroughly online than in print, 62% of the story as opposed to 52% and 49% for broadsheet and tabloid.
  • Online viewers and tabloid readers read the jumps
results eyetracking the news 2007 print and online21
Results: Eyetracking the News 2007 (Print and Online)
  • Print: large headlines and fewer, large photos attracted more eyes than smaller images in print. Explanatory graphics, charts got attention.
  • Online, readers were drawn more to navigation bars and teasers. Maps, weather, traffic were viewed often.
results eyetracking the news 2007 print and online22
Results: Eyetracking the News 2007 (Print and Online)
  • Retention:
  • Readers did better with alternate formats: Q&As, timelines, lists, short sidebars, and quizzes over traditional stories.
results eyetracking the news 2007 print and online23
Results: Eyetracking the News 2007 (Print and Online)
  • Scanners (hop around) and Methodical Readers (read top to bottom)
  • Newsprint: 75% methodical
  • Online: 50% scanners, 50% methodical
university application
University application:

use photos, headlines, captions, pull quotes

university application25
University application:

use photos, headlines, captions, pull quotes, diagrams

lessons
Lessons
  • Know your audience
  • Apply findings to your projects, magazine, print, newspaper, web
  • It’s a changing world: Stay flexible
  • Challenging times: Learn all you can about reading patterns online and in print
slide28
Eyes on the News 1991 (Print)
    • http://www.poynterextra.org/eyetrack2004/history.htm)
  • Neilson/Norman Usability Study 2005 (Online)
    • http://www.ojr.org/ojr/stories/070312ruel/
  • Eyetracking the News 2007 (Online and Print)
    • (http://eyetrack.poynter.org/keys_01.html)