The World Wide Web has emerged as a powerful communications medium. With the development of new technologies, organisational websites are getting bigger and more complex, using design elements such as sound and motion to engage users’ attention. This paper looks at how users respond to the ways designers and developers present information on the web in a dynamic form which incorporates sound and motion. The paper focuses on evaluating the communicative effectiveness of museum websites (particularly websites with different degrees of dynamic elements in them), to see if certain ways of presenting dynamic content are more effective than others. The method used consisted of observing users while they tried to accomplish specific tasks on selected websites, through interviews, questionnaires and through verbal protocol (‘think aloud’) analysis. Effectiveness was measured by such things as how long it took participants to complete each task, how successful they were in finding the necessary information, and the ease of use. The outcome of the research was identification of problem areas associated with the effectiveness of information delivery by dynamic sites, and guidelines for communication designers, information architects and developers of websites as they evaluate the success of dynamic sites.
To investigate how different uses of sound and motion (content presented through dynamic elements) may impact on the effectiveness of information delivery from a website.
To explore the relationship between use of dynamic elements, user engagement with a site through interaction with dynamic elements, and the effectiveness of information delivery.
To identify problem areas, difficulties, weaknesses, and areas for improvement (associated with the effectiveness of information delivery in dynamic sites) for web designers and developers.