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Exploring User Engagement in Online News Interactions

Heather O'Brien

ASIST 2011 Annual Meeting 
New Orleans, LA, October 9-12, 2011


This paper describes a qualitative study of online news reading and browsing. Thirty people participated in an experiment in which they were asked to browse a news website and select three stories to discuss at a social gathering. Semi-structured interviews were conducted post-task to understand participants' perceptions of what makes online news reading and browsing engaging or non-engaging. Findings as presented within the experience-based framework of user engagement and demonstrate the complexity of users' interactions with information content and systems in online news environments. This study extends the model of user engagement and contributes new insights into user's experience in casual-leisure information settings, such as online news, which has implications for other information domains.

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