Group cognitive account of StumbleUpon.com

StumbleUpon

Attention:The site is organized in a way that is focused on getting the user’s attention. There are large ad’s placed at the top of the site that are used to attract new user’s to register to the site. The top navigation tab is set up in a simple way to allow new users to navigate to the portion of the site that is of most interest to them. The site uses a unified color scheme that keeps the user’s attention but does not distract from the content or make the user want to look away.

Perception:The icons used for buttons are easily able to be distinguished both from the other parts of the site and from each other, so that the site does not confuse the user as to where they are clicking. There is a side border on each site of the body/content that focuses the user’s eyes towards the main content. The text is easily legible and they use bolding and coloring techniques to give focus to the titles of articles and other important information. The use of icons for the rating, reviews, and category focuses the user’s attention on these categories, making them stand out and show that they are a main focus of the site. The user of both thin and thick borders breaks up the site into its separate categories.

Memory: Since we were all new users to the site, we had to navigate around to find out where the relevant information was placed and where each category was placed. After being on the site for less than 5 minutes we had the general navigation of the site learned. To see more popular sites, simply choose the ‘see more’ option. To see more sites in a particular category, choose one of the images that represent the category you are interested in. This site encourages exploration due to the lack of detail and descriptions of the different categories. The site wants you to search around at least a little to find the answer you are looking for, and while you are searching hopefully you will find another part of the site that is some interest to you (ex: the blog). There does not seem to be any part of the site that takes a lot of repetition to accomplish successfully.

Learning: The learning seems to go partially with the memory in this site. The interface is designed in a way as to make the user scroll through the site to learn the information (encourages exploration), but it is easily learned and stored to memory. As with the perception portion of the site, the borders and tabs help constrain the content in a way to make it easier to learn. The content will always be in a similar location every time you visit the site, even if the content itself is different.

Problem Solving:The site provides links like “What is this?” to allow users to learn more about the separate portions of the site. There are also learning videos and other “how-to” content on the site that allow new users to learn more about the usage of the site. One example of this is the “Try Online Demo” that shows a page that allows the user to try a working version of the site and click the Stumble button to add it to the StumbleUpon site.

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