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How People Perform a First Glance Evaluation

Copyright © 2012. 23 pages.
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DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0152-9.ch006|
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MLA

Albers, Michael J. "How People Perform a First Glance Evaluation." Human-Information Interaction and Technical Communication: Concepts and Frameworks. IGI Global, 2012. 218-240. Web. 28 Nov. 2014. doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-0152-9.ch006

APA

Albers, M. J. (2012). How People Perform a First Glance Evaluation. In Human-Information Interaction and Technical Communication: Concepts and Frameworks (pp. 218-240). Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference. doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-0152-9.ch006

Chicago

Albers, Michael J. "How People Perform a First Glance Evaluation." In Human-Information Interaction and Technical Communication: Concepts and Frameworks, 218-240 (2012), accessed November 28, 2014. doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-0152-9.ch006

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Abstract

This chapter looks at some of the factors that drive how people form their first impression of a text and how design teams can ensure their material leaves a good impression within the first 2 seconds of people looking at a page, the time during which people evaluate the appearance and begin to read and comprehend the text. People’s initial perception of text happens within a few seconds, long before they actually read any text; some research has found initial impressions can form within 50 milliseconds (Lindgaard, Fernandes, Dudek, & Brown, 2006). That first glance evaluation depends on their initial perception of the font choices, text design, and graphics. The first few seconds of viewing a text can be critical to the HII by activating a mental model and setting up how the text will be interpreted. Or if it creates a poor first impression, people may flag the text as unreadable and ignore it.
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Background

This report, by its very length, defends itself against the risk of being read.—Winston Churchill

This chapter considers the information as it moves from the situation to the person. The white area in Figure 1 shows the area of the HII model relevant to this chapter. It deals with how a person perceives the information and decides what information will receive further consideration. The gray shape in the drawing plays a gatekeeper since any situation contains a huge amount of information from which people must select what is relevant and funnel it down to manageable amounts as they work on comprehending it and applying it to their situation.

Figure 1.

First glance evaluation of the information

The main areas covered in this chapter are:

  • Perception and Pre-Attentive Processing: Discussion of the underlying psychological theories about how people perceive information and sort it out without consciously thinking about it.

  • Salience Issues at First Glance: The first few seconds are critical for ensuring the reader perceives the document correctly. This section looks a the factors that influence those first few seconds.

  • Gestalt Theory: Discussion of the main points of Gestalt theory and how it influences initial impressions of a page.

  • Cue-Conflicts: Discussion of the factors which can lead to conflicts between what a page presents to people and what it is suppose to present.

  • Change Blindness: Discussion of how people completely ignore some aspects of a design and how that can impact communication.

Introduction

The first glance evaluation of an information display sets people’s expectations; if they believe it will be highly usable, they will tend to continue to believe that. Factors driving evaluation of the first glance at a text depend on people’s initial perception of the font choices, text design, and graphics. The first few seconds of viewing a text can be critical to the HII by activating a mental model and forming a first impression of both the information quality and contents. If the wrong mental model is activated, people may misinterpret the text. Or if it leaves a poor first impression, people may not examine the page further.

With any written communication, whether on the web, a long printed report, or a one-page brochure, a significant factor of how deeply people will read the material—or read it at all—happens with the first glance at the page. Kurosu and Kashimura (1995) demonstrated that based on a first glance evaluation, people who determined an interface looked more attractive also rated it as easier to use. They demonstrated this when they found that people consistently said that the attractive ATMs worked better. They studied 26 different layouts for ATMs which were identical in number of buttons and operations, but differed in layout. During the first glance evaluation, people who determine the interface looks more attractive will also rate it as easier to use.

Of course, the opposite is true, if the first glance sets an expectation that it will be difficult, then people will find the interaction difficult. Lindgaard et al. (2006) found that people can form a first impression of a web page with only a 50 millisecond exposure. That impression activates a reader’s mental model and can either excite or turn off the reader to a text. A vibrant exciting looking text will make them want to read more, while a dense gray text block may make them look elsewhere for information.

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Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Preface
Michael J. Albers
Chapter 1
Introduction  (pages 1-29)
Decisions on what content to include and how to design that content are major decisions that profoundly influence the overall communication of any... Sample PDF
Introduction
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Chapter 2
Although in an ideal form the information in the world would not involve people, in reality, it has no meaning without people observing and... Sample PDF
Information in the Situation
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Chapter 3
The psychology literature has many articles on how people react to information and the deeper cognitive process behind those reactions, but... Sample PDF
What People Bring with Them
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Chapter 4
Information interaction and interpretation will vary dependent on people’s goals and information needs. These differing goals and information needs... Sample PDF
How People Approach Information
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Chapter 5
Design teams should not consider a person’s computer interface as just a set of hardware and software that make upcompose the computer (Grudin... Sample PDF
How People Approach Technology-Based Interactions
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Chapter 6
This chapter looks at some of the factors that drive how people form their first impression of a text and how design teams can ensure their material... Sample PDF
How People Perform a First Glance Evaluation
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Chapter 7
This chapter considers how the typography used for presenting information exerts a profound effect on the effectiveness of the communication. The... Sample PDF
How People Approach Typography
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Chapter 8
The previous chapter dealt with how people typography affected how people interpret documents. This chapter continues in the same vein by looking at... Sample PDF
How People Approach Graphical Information
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Chapter 9
The previous chapter dealt with how people interpret graphics. This chapter examines how people interpret numbers, typically given as probabilities... Sample PDF
How People Approach Numbers, Statistics, and Risks
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Chapter 10
This chapter considers how the presentation of information on a display affects the HII. The type and order of the presentation exerts a strong... Sample PDF
How People Interact with Information Presentation
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Chapter 11
How People Read  (pages 367-397)
When people try to read technical information, they try to assess the relevance of information as quickly as possible. They set their own reading... Sample PDF
How People Read
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Chapter 12
This chapter does not address the topics typically covered in articles on searching for Web information, such as search engine optimization or how... Sample PDF
How People Approach Finding Information
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Chapter 13
The earlier chapters of this book have looked at how people interact with and interpret information. This chapter looks at the factors that... Sample PDF
How People Make Decisions and Take Action
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Chapter 14
Conclusion  (pages 459-477)
People process information on three levels: readability, understandability, and comprehension (Warren, 1993). Readability, how people perceive... Sample PDF
Conclusion
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