Text Simplification and Generation Y: An Eye Tracking Study
Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center; Department of Family Medicine and Community Health
Cognitive Neuroscience | Graphics and Human Computer Interfaces | Musculoskeletal, Neural, and Ocular Physiology
While important information is often communicated via text, people read only a small fraction of textual content. Ignoring text is particularly prevalent among Generation Y, who prefer image-based communication and exhibit impatient viewing behavior. One way to improve the effectiveness of text-based communication for younger users is to construct textual information in a way that it can be understood with short glances, a hallmark of Generation Y’s impatient viewing behavior. To test this assertion, we used a set of plain language standards (PLS) to simplify a text passage from an actual website. The results of our eye tracking study showed that PLS were successful in improving textual communication for Generation Y users. The simplified text passage was processed with shorter glances, facilitated a more effective visual search behavior, and improved task performance significantly.
Cognitive Effort, Millennials, Plain Text, Fixation Duration, Saccade Amplitude
Djamasbi, S., Shojaeizadeh, M., Chen, P., & Rochford, J. (2016). Text Simplification and Generation Y: An Eye Tracking Study. SIGHCI 2016 Proceedings, December 11, 2016. Link to publisher website
SIGHCI (Special Interest Group on Human-Computer Interaction) 2016 Proceedings
Djamasbi S, Chen P, Shojaeizadeh M, Rochford J. (2016). Text Simplification and Generation Y: An Eye Tracking Study. Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center Publications. Retrieved from https://escholarship.umassmed.edu/shriver_pp/65