טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentWander Avital
SubjectThe Effects of Advertisement Areas Complexity of Web Pages
on their Usability
DepartmentDepartment of Architecture and Town Planning
Supervisor Mr. Daniel Shoshan
Full Thesis text - in Hebrew Full thesis text - Hebrew Version


Abstract

As the internet becomes more and more integrated with our everyday life, as a main tool to search for information, share content and making transactions, so we become more and more familiar with web advertisements.

Most of the web advertisement is based on Banners, which are the internet’s billboards.
Their aim is to catch our attention and to make us click on them. On the other hand they cause famous physiological phenomena called banner blindness, where the user finds these banners distracting and disregards them.

The purpose of this study was to examine empirically whether there is an interaction between web page complexity and advertisements’ complexity in their total effect on the usability level. 

We also examined whether adjusting the content of the advertisement areas to the user’s expectations, can shorten the search times and decrease the banner blindness effect.

In order to achieve this goal, a web experiment was developed. This experiment held demo pages with different complexity level (low, medium, high) and different banner types (textual, static and animated). All banners contained information that was relevant to the search assignment presented before every page. The user had to press on the first link that will lead him to his target and his search times were measured.

The results significantly showed that: - In pages with low complexity level, where the search was quick and effective, banner ads slowed down the search times and it’s better not to use them.
- In pages with high complexity level, where the search assignment was harder and required more time, banner ads cut off search times and made it easier for the users to find the relevant information.
- Users that took advantage and used the banners (with relevant information) instead of regular text links achieved their target much faster.

- It is likely to assume that as the user becomes more and more familiar with banners that match his search scheme, and more content from his click through results, banner ads will be included in his search scheme and the banner blindness phenomena will decrease.

The practical contribution of this research will be the expansion of these results and implementing them on real banner ads and real web-sites. This kind of effective advertisement while keeping track on optimal usability level will hopefully bring to user’s satisfaction and positive feedback of the media.