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A tool for supporting Web-based empirical research: providing a basis for Web design guidelines

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7 Author(s)
Barrick, J. ; Washington Univ., Seattle, WA, USA ; Maust, B. ; Spyridakis, J.H. ; Eliot, M.
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Current Web design guidelines are often based on little more than intuition or anecdotal evidence. When research is cited to support Web design guidelines, that research has frequently been conducted as part of a small usability study or a print-media study. Whether such sources can be validly generalized into standard Web design guidelines is questionable but the practice is widespread. Professional technical communicators may be interested in conducting experiments to determine what Web design elements most benefit their audiences, paying attention to how those users interact with their own computers at a place and time of their own choosing. Conducting such research, however, requires a level of technical expertise usually reserved for programmers. To address this problem, our research team has been developing a tool to aid non-programmers in conducting Web-based experiments of Web design features. The ultimate goal of such experiments would be the development of research-based Web design guidelines.

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Professional Communication Conference, 2004. IPCC 2004. Proceedings. International

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