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Web Design Issues When Searching for Information Using Handheld Interfaces

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Abstract:

In this paper, we report findings from an experimental study in which 28 participants answered general, business-related questions by performing strategic information searches on Web pages displayed on either a standard, desktop monitor or a handheld interface. Web pages varied in five lengths from 100 to 850 words, or from 1.5 to 15 screens long on the handheld interface, and from 0.33 to 2.5 screens long on the desktop interface. As expected, participants, overall, took more time to perform the tasks on the handheld interface, although search times in both conditions followed similar patterns. Finally, when using the handheld to search text between the 225- and 350-word lengths, there was a breakdown in search efficacy for information positioned in the middle of the text.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2002

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  • Technical Communication, the Society's journal, publishes articles about the practical application of technical communication theory and serves as a common arena for discussion by practitioners. Technical Communication includes both quantitative and qualitative research while showcasing the work of some of the field's most noteworthy writers. Among its most popular features are the helpful book reviews. Technical Communication is published quarterly and is free with membership.
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stc/tc/2002/00000049/00000003/art00005
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