Exploring cultural variation in eye movements on a Web page between *Americans and Koreans
Changwoo Yang, The Florida State University, United States
The Florida State University . Awarded
This study explored differences in eye movement on a Web page between members of two different cultures to provide insight and guidelines for implementation of global Web site development. More specifically, the research examines whether differences of eye movement exist between the two cultures (American vs. Korean) when viewing a Web page, and if so, whether their eye movements are affected according to the types of activity and the level of Web page complexity. This study employed eye tracking methods and several eye movement metrics were measured: total fixation time, total gaze time in each Area of Interest (AOI), fixation count on each AOI, time to first fixation and first fixation area, fixation order, and fixation transition. The eye tracking study was conducted with 19 participants for both groups.
The experiment results revealed that there was no significant difference between American participants and Korean participants in terms of initial attention to visual elements and areas on the Web pages. Participants for both groups focused their attention in a similar way in both browsing and searching tasks. However, there were differences in the allocation of fixation and gaze time on the AOIs, especially on the banner images and navigation areas, in browsing tasks. American participants tended to give more attention to the banner images than Korean participants in browsing tasks on all levels of complexity of Web page. Korean participants tended to allocate their fixations and spend more time in viewing navigation areas. American participants tended to give more attention to the banner image than the Korean participants. In contrast, Korean participants spent more time in navigation areas in all six tasks. With respect to viewing patters, many pairs of similar patterns were found between groups. This could indicate that other factors than cultural factors such as personal experiences or levels of expertise may affect the sequence of fixations.
This study showed cultural variations in eye movement when viewing a Web page with different tasks and raises methodological issues in eye movement research for cultural studies in the files of information science. The findings and observations obtained in this exploratory eye movement experiment suggest guidelines for Web page design from the cognitive view point for different cultures, and provide a methodological example for future cross-cultural usability test.
Yang, C. Exploring cultural variation in eye movements on a Web page between *Americans and Koreans. Ph.D. thesis, The Florida State University.
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