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How an undergraduate research project informed JMU website redesign


 

With so many factors to consider, website designers have no silver bullet for creating effective websites. But a student research project certainly was helpful in making some changes to the JMU website.

Junior psychology major Andrew Carnes designed the project, making use of the psychology department's eye-tracking software. Carnes recruited freshmen and sophomore students to participate in his project, having some of them use the current website and others using the redesigned site. Each group of students was asked how they would arrange a visit to JMU by starting at the JMU homepage. Their actions were recorded as they looked at the websites through the eye tracking software. After analyzing the data, JMU web designers were able to make important decisions on how best redesign the site.

"I think it's really cool," Carnes said about helping the university with the project. "Just having the opportunity, first off, to do something a lot of user-experience designers aren't able to do because eye tracking is expensive technology. I'm grateful to be a part of it."

Published: Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 9, 2016

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