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Does Background Music Impact Computer Task Performance?

By Christine Phillips Summary: The effects of music on performance on a computer-mediated problem-solving task were examined. Participants completed the task in anonymous dyads as they were exposed to either Classical music, Punk music, or No Music. Results indicate that

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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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A Comparison of Two Computer Fonts: Serif versus Ornate Sans Serif

Guest Contributor: Sarah Morrison and Jan Noyes, University of Bristol, UK Fonts are described in terms of their face, style, size and color. There are two main types, namely, serif and sans serif. Serif fonts have small appendages at the

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Aesthetics and Usability: A Look at Color and Balance

By Laurie Brady and Christine Phillips As websites continue to fight for the attention of potential users, designers must begin to look not only at the inherent usability of the site, but also its perceived usability. For instance, Tractinsky (1997)

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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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