How Do Web Users Respond to Non-Banner-Ads Animation? The Effects of Task Type and User Experience
Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, Vol. 58, No. 10, pp. 1467–1482, 2007
16 Pages Posted: 26 Dec 2011
Date Written: December 26, 2011
Prior research on Web animation typically focuses on banner ads, where the findings suggest that users are capable of ignoring the animation when performing online tasks. Research on non-banner-ads animation (e.g., animation applied to the main content of an e-commerce Web site), however, is relatively scarce with inconclusive results. We propose that the effects of non-banner-ads animation are moderated by task type and the Web user’s experience with the animation. Drawing upon divided attention theories, especially the central capacity theory, this research investigates the effects of non-banner-ads animation on Web users’ clicking behavior, task performance, and perceptions through an online shopping experiment. The results show that non-banner-ads animation does attract Web users’ attention, with the animated item more likely to be clicked first and also more likely to be purchased when users are performing browsing tasks. Meanwhile, Web users’ task performance and perceptions are negatively affected in the presence of animation. Moreover, the negative effects of animation on task performance are greater in browsing tasks than in searching tasks. Finally, experience can help Web users to reduce the distraction from animation and is more effective when users are engaged in searching tasks than when they are engaged in browsing tasks.
Keywords: banner ad, animation, web site, task type, user experience, central capacity theory, online shopping, searching task, browsing task
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