ARTICLE: Link length and quantity affects user experience

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Different quantities and types of links have notable effects on the readers of online news, write Félix Arias-Robles and José Alberto García-Avilés, both of Universidad Miguel Hernández.

The authors conducted an online experiment with 170 Spanish university students, who were assigned to read one out of six potential article versions. Arias-Robles and García-Avilés recorded the students’ interactions, and finally surveyed the participants over their experiences, and their ability to recall information from the article.

The news stories with many, or short, hypertext links was liked best by the participants. However, when the participants were quizzed over the contents of the stories, the results were converse: the story with all the information on a single page was recalled better than the versions in which information was spread on different pages.

The article “Many Short Links” was published by the journal Digital Journalism. It is available online (abstract free).

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