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Examining Users on News Provider Web Sites: A Review of Methodology

William Gibbs

Journal of Usability Studies, Volume 3, Issue 3, May 2008, pp. 129-148

Article Contents


Method

The following sections present information about participants, materials, procedures, and information seeking behaviors.

Participants

Graduate and undergraduate students from Duquesne University, Pennsylvania, USA participated in this project by locating information on news provider Web sites. The participant group was comprised of 31 individuals, 51% females and 48% males, with an average age of 23 years. They reported that they were experienced with Web browsing and obtaining news online. Most indicated that they read news Web sites each day or several times daily and that the Web was their preferred medium for obtaining news followed by television and then newspapers. For most participants (50%), their primary areas of the study were Journalism and Multimedia Arts, although some individuals majored in Advertising and Public Relations and English. All were proficient computer users.

Materials

The following six Web sites obtained from popular news organizations that have tradition in either television (e.g., CNN.com) or news print (e.g., New York Times) were chosen for this research:

The author chose these sites based on their orientation (television and news print) as well as popularity. The sites characterized prevailing online news outlets from which many people obtain the news.

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