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From:
Bill Killam <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Bill Killam <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Thu, 19 Aug 2010 13:36:12 -0400
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> 
> Adam Guasch-Melendez wrote:
>> Has anyone done any research - or come across any - on auto-rotating content
>> banners? I don't mean ad banners, I mean sites such as the White House (
>> http://www.whitehouse.gov/) and the many US government sites that replicate
>> the feature (http://www.state.gov/ or http://www.nps.gov/). Generally, it's
>> a large banner with a strong graphic image and a short header or descriptive
>> text that links to a secondary page; the banner rotates through four or more
>> options, and also allows users to click through the options.
>> 
>> Although the sites that use this feature clearly intend to attract attention
>> to each of the rotating elements, I think it's also possible that if the
>> initial topic doesn't grab the user's attention, a casual user scanning the
>> page may simply read - and scroll - past the banner on to the rest of the
>> page rather than waiting for the rotation or clicking through, so that items
>> intended to be "featured" are never seen at all. I'm not comfortable with
>> relying on users' willingness to break their browsing habits (scanning, in
>> this case). But that's just speculation, and I'd love to see research. Can
>> anyone point me in the right direction?

Basic research evidence exists if not applied research.  The motion detectors in the eye are highly susceptible to moving banners.  Since these are in the peripheral of the eye, its even worse when the motion is at the top of a page or another area where the user's attention is not specifically focused.  For that reason, there is certainly evidence about appropriate and inappropriate use of motion on a design - motion is a very high distractor and should not be used unless the intent tis to demand attention.  In addition, moving items should be under user control is a common HFE "requirement" (for the very reasons you have alluded to), but I'm not sure I could put my hands on a specific document starting it (It is a specific requirement under accessibility requirements.)    

Bill
---------------------------------------------------
Bill Killam, MA CHFP/CUXP
President, User-Centered Design, Inc.
20548 Deerwatch Place
Ashburn, VA 20147
703-729-0998 (Office)
703-626-6318 (Mobile)
http://www.user-centereddesign.com

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