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Optimizing the reading of electronic text using rapid serial visual presentation

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The focus on communications technology in recent years has led to the question of how to best display electronic text onto small-screened devices. Past studies have shown that the compact method of rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) is efficient but not well liked. Two experiments were conducted to explore ways of improving the preference for and feasibility of RSVP. In experiment 1, the effects of a completion meter, punctuation pauses, and variable word duration were studied. Although the sentence-by-sentence and normal page formats were still superior, post-experiment ratings indicated that punctuation pauses improved user preference for RSVP, and its preference increased in general with practice. In experiment 2, a modified RSVP condition included a completion meter, punctuation pauses, interruption pauses and pauses at clause boundaries. This condition was significantly preferred to a normal RSVP condition. The present enhancements may increase the feasibility of using RSVP with small displays.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-07-01

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