Page published: 8 June 2011
Ground-breaking research currently taking place in Bournemouth University's 'The Digital Hub' involves an eye-tracking experiment investigating into the psychology behind usability of websites. The Digital Hub, directed by the School of Tourism's Dr Philip Alford, provides an applied research umbrella housing expertise related to the Creative and Digital Economy.
This HEIF-funded study involves conducting a series of usability tests on websites devised by individuals, small SMEs and large businesses using professional website design input to investigate factors such as aesthetics and trustworthiness. Two themes are being investigated, drawing on the cognitive and social psychology expertise of the two study directors. For both themes, a variety of methods will be used including: interviews, usability tests and eye tracking.
Theme 1, directed by Professor Sine McDougall, aims to extend extant findings in the cognitive ergonomics and human-computer interaction literature regarding the efficacy of website interfaces, in order to ascertain key characteristics which create or detract from website efficacy in a representative selection of websites.
Theme 2, directed by Assoc. Professor Jaqui Taylor, aims to investigate how perceptions of security and trust are involved in: the use of, appeal and likely purchase from websites. This stage will focus on websites used in the tourism industry. Perceptions and eye-tracking data will be linked to individual differences such as disposition to trust, gender and age.