Effects of Website Interface Design on Performance andSatisfaction

Lori Shird* and Lauren Scharff

Paper presented at the Southwestern Psychological AssociationConvention 2005

This study examined usability and its effects on user preferenceand user satisfaction for multiple interface designs (frames,textual, graphical, and traditional). Objective measures includedcounting the number of unnecessary mouse clicks made while searchingfor target answers, and accuracy of the answers. Subjective measuresincluded user satisfaction questionnaires for each interface design,and preference ranks for the four designs, as well as for header andtext font combinations. Participants were categorized into a young orolder category, and used either an Ethernet or modem connection typewhen viewing their interface designs. The addition of computer andInternet experience as covariates influenced the effects of age andconnection type. Although the correlations between experience and agewere expected, the correlations between experience and connectiontype were not anticipated. Participants were expected to make fewerextra mouse clicks and have higher accuracy scores on the framesinterface design. However, there was only a trend for participants tomake fewer extra mouse clicks on the frames interface. Ashypothesized, the frames design yielded the highest user satisfactionscores, while the textual design yielded the second highest usersatisfaction scores. For the interface preference ranking, moreparticipants chose the frames interface design as their first choicethan any other interface designs. Participants also rated thetraditional design as the least preferred design. These findings arehighly relevant in the human factors field of usability testing,especially in the initial development process of constructing aninterface design.


* This project represents a summary of the Lori Shird's MastersThesis; Lauren Scharff was her faculty thesis supervisor.

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