Investigating the influence of ads on user search performance, behaviour, and experience during information seeking

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Abstract

The phenomenon of banner blindness explains that users can mentally ignore online advertisements (ads). However, eye-tracking studies have shown that users still fixate on ads, and even without direct gaze, ads still fall within a user's peripheral vision, which may negatively overload cognition. It is therefore unknown how blind, banner blindness, truly is, and what other effect ads may
have on user's information seeking. To address this gap, a within subjects design experiment was conducted with 37 participants who performed search tasks from the TREC 2017 Common Core News Collection, where 3 search tasks contained various types of ads, and one search task had no ads. Although our results showed that on average, participants retrieved similar amounts of relevant documents regardless of whether ads were present or absent, participants took significantly longer achieving this performance when ads were present. Furthermore, when ads were absent, participants reported less frustration, and not only believed they learned more, but a post-task recall test showed that participants actually did learn up to 38% more. Consequently, our findings suggest that banner blindness is more costly than just mere annoyance, and that the influence of ads on user's information retrieval recall may extend current theories of visual crowding
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHIIR 2021 - Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 2021 Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval
Place of PublicationNew York, NY, USA
Pages107-117
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781450380553
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2021
Event2021 Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval - Online
Duration: 14 Mar 202119 Mar 2021
Conference number: 6
https://acm-chiir.github.io/chiir2021/#:~:text=Welcome%20to%20the%20sixth%20ACM,March%2C%202021%20(online).&text=CHIIR%20focuses%20on%20elements%20such,seeking%20and%20use%20in%20context.

Publication series

NameCHIIR '21
PublisherACM

Conference

Conference2021 Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval
Abbreviated titleCHIIR '21
Period14/03/2119/03/21
Internet address

Keywords

  • information retrieval
  • advertisements
  • advertising
  • banner blindness
  • clutter
  • crowding
  • peripheral vision
  • information seeking

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