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Testing the Visual Consistency of Web Sites

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Abstract:

Consistency in the visual appearance of Web pages is often checked by experts, such as designers or reviewers. This article reports a card sort study conducted to determine whether users rather than experts could distinguish visual (in-)consistency in Web elements and pages. The users proved to agree on the elements and pages that were consistent, even when they demonstrated different approaches in describing why elements or pages belonged together. Color, background, and font proved to be the main visual cues that users paid attention to. Card sorting with visual elements is not only a suitable tool for testing visual consistency, but also offers new ways to investigate the effects of particular visual elements of Web sites.

Document Type: Journal Article

Publication date: February 1, 2005

More about this publication?
  • 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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