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Animations and its Affect on Attention

Anindita Paul

(Submission #30)


Now days it is quite common to see websites with animations. Some of these animations are more flashy and dynamic than others. Research in cognitive psychology address the issue of attention in a dynamic environment. Further evidence suggests that the nature of the dynamism, characteristic of animated objects, can affect attention. The dynamic field could involve letters, digits, and pictures which could be moving in different direction in its field. Researches in cognitive science have established evidence on the functions of the executive center of the brain that effect user behavior. The poster presents the findings of a library research paper that studies the effects of animation on attention. This paper investigated 10 studies from dominant journals in the field of cognitive psychology that address the consequence of a dynamic field on attention. This paper investigates how attention could affect task-specific actions by deriving from the conclusions from the 10 studies. This paper concludes the importance of the capacity of the Visual Short Term Memory (VSTM), duration of presentation of the stimuli, interference caused by the continuous presentation of animations, object orientedness of the animation, the relevance of the presented item on the task a user intends to do and the simultaneous presentation of visual and verbal information that causes interference between the components of visual and verbal short term memory during task execution. An application of such findings could be used in understanding human behavior and can further be applied in designing tasks or conducting usability studies on websites. An understanding of the cognitive side of human behavior can strengthen support for the use of the cognitive literature in user studies in information sciences which would help clearing misconceptions about web animations that primarily are intended to attract attention; instead would improvise the features of a website towards making an effective impact on its audiences.


[Paper (PDF)]  

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