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The experiment used five versions of a site made for this study.

The experiment used five versions of a site made for this study.

Participants

The participants were 51 experienced internet users recruited by Sun (average quantity of Web experience was 2 years). Participants ranged in age from 22-69 (average age was 41). In an attempt to focus on “normal users,” we excluded the professions that are following the analysis: webmasters, Web designers, graphic artists, user interface professionals, writers, editors, computer scientists, and computer programmers.

We checked for aftereffects of age and Web experience from the dependent variables mentioned in the 1st five hypotheses, but we found only negligible differences-none significant. Had web sites in our study been more challenging to navigate or had our tasks necessitated use of search engines or any other Web infrastructure, we would have expected significant effects 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 gender and employment status.

Experimental Materials

Called “Travel Nebraska,” the site contained information regarding Nebraska. We used a travel site because 1) in our earlier qualitative studies, many internet users said travel is regarded as their interests, and 2) travel content lent itself to the writing that is different we wanted to study.
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