The participants were 51 experienced Web users recruited by Sun (average level of Web experience was 24 months). Participants ranged in age from 22-69 (average age was 41). In an attempt to concentrate on “normal users,” we excluded the professions that are following the analysis: webmasters, web-site designers, graphic artists, user interface professionals, writers, editors, computer scientists, and computer programmers.
We checked for effects of age and Web experience from the dependent variables mentioned in the 1st five hypotheses, but we found only negligible differences-none significant. Had the sites inside our study been more challenging to navigate or had our tasks necessitated use of search engines or other Web infrastructure, we might have expected significant outcomes 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 employment and gender status.
Called “Travel Nebraska,” the site contained information on Nebraska. We used a travel site because 1) inside our earlier qualitative studies, many Web users said travel is regarded as their interests, and 2) travel content lent itself towards the different writing styles we desired to study. We chose Nebraska to reduce the result of prior knowledge on our measures (in recruiting participants, we screened out those who had ever lived in, and even near, Nebraska).
Each type of the Travel Nebraska site consisted of seven pages, and all versions used the hypertext structure that is same.