Article Archives

Is Multiple-Column Online Text Better? It Depends!

By J. Ryan Baker Summary: This study investigated the effects of multi-column displays and justification on reading performance and satisfaction of an online narrative passage. Participants read a short story displayed in one of six formats (one, two, or three

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Reading Online Text with a Poor Layout: Is Performance Worse?

by Barbara S. Chaparro, A. Dawn Shaikh, & J. Ryan Baker Summary: This study examined the effects of enhanced layout (headers, indentation, and figure placement) on reading performance, comprehension, and satisfaction. Participants read text passages with and without enhanced layout.

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Reading Online Text: A Comparison of Four White Space Layouts

By Barbara Chaparro, J. Ryan Baker, A. Dawn Shaikh, Spring Hull, & Laurie Brady Summary: In this study, reading performance with four white space layouts was compared. Margins surrounding the text and leading (space between lines) were manipulated to generate

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What’s the Skinny on Weight Loss Websites?

By A. Dawn Shaikh, J. Ryan Baker, & Mark C. Russell Summary: This study reports on the usability test of three weight loss websites. In addition, eye tracking patterns were observed for initial exposure to each site home page. Results

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The Impact of Paging vs. Scrolling on Reading Online Text Passages

By J. Ryan Baker In a previous issue of Usability News, we examined the use of paging vs. scrolling for the presentation of search results. In that study we found that a moderate amount of scrolling (fifty links per page)

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