Undergraduate Honors Theses

Date of Award

4-2014

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Patrick Brown

Abstract

This thesis investigated the influence of format (static vs. dynamic) and relevance (relevant vs. not relevant) on the creation of effective Web site header displays. Through evaluation of current trends in header display design, the aim of this research was to offer plausible explanatory mechanisms within the perceptual and visual systems, along with practical recommendations for both users and designers alike. While presenting 100 undergraduate students with simplified Web page interfaces containing only a header and paragraph text, looking time was measured followed by score on a set of text-comprehension questions. Score was then considered as a function of header characteristics such as format and relevance. Results revealed a negative relationship between scores in the relevant and not relevant conditions, suggesting an influence of header relevance on subsequent text-comprehension.

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