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Joshua Ellinger <[log in to unmask]>
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Joshua Ellinger <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 20 Aug 2010 02:08:51 -0700
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Bill is spot on,
Research in cognitive psychology shows that motion is given a higher
cognitive premium than static images. If you are trying to grab attention
then this is definitely a way to do it. While it cannot compensate if
someone has scrolled down to below the fold so that the user cannot see the
scrolling content. If you still have user and the content change is big
enough, you should be able to redirect the users attention to the rotating

Our brains developed to be able to detect moving objects because these were
important because they represented a threat in the form of a predator, or
later on also food. Our brains are still wired to detect these changes,
along with changes in size, etc.

If you do end up doing further testing on this exact element, please repost
to this group. I would be interested in further findings.

Joshua Ellinger
Experienced project manager, usability designer and information architect

On 8/19/10 10:36 AM, "Bill Killam" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>> 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 (
>>> and the many US government sites that replicate
>>> the feature ( or 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)
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