Cognitive scientists and psychologists have long noted the "picture superiority effect", that is, pictorial content is more likely to be remembered and more likely to lead to an increased understandingof the material. We investigated the relative importance of pictorial regions versus textual regions on a website where pictures and text co-occur in a very structured manner: video content sharing websites. In our study, we tracked participants' eye movements as they performed a casual browsing task, that is, selecting a video to watch. The fixations were coded as falling on one of two areas of interest: thumbnail image or title text region. We found that participants allocated almost twice as much attention to thumbnails as to title text regions. They also tended to look at the thumbnail images before the title text, as predicted by the picture superiority effect. These results have implications for both user experience designers as well as video content creators.
Non-text description: video explaining project and results."How many words is a picture worth? Attention allocation on thumbnails versus title text regions", Yangandul, Chaitra and Paryani, Sachin and Le, Madison and Jain, Eakta, ACM Symposium on Eye Tracking Research & Applications (ETRA 2018).
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