User-Friendly Locations of Error Messages in Web Forms: An Eye Tracking Study

  • Yavuz Inal Department of Information Systems Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Atılım University, Ankara, Turkey.
Keywords: Usability, eye movement, error message design, web forms, interaction design

Abstract

Error messages presented to users are one of the most important elements of Web forms. Error messages are embedded in different parts of the forms available on the Internet and presented in various formats. One of the measures of a user-friendly error message design is the ability to easily capture users’ attention and facilitate fast error correction. In this empirical study, I tested four different locations of error messages frequently used in Web forms on 32 participants. In addition, I analysed the participants’ interactions with error messages through their eye movements. The results of the study showed that the participants spotted the error message fastest when it was displayed on the right side of the erroneous input field. When error messages displayed further the input field users have less saccades to and fixations on error messages compared to those located near to this field, suggesting that less effort has been spent to understand the given message. However, group mean dif-ferences were not statistically significant for form completion time, error recognition time, the number of saccades, and error correction time.

Author Biography

Yavuz Inal, Department of Information Systems Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Atılım University, Ankara, Turkey.

Dr. Yavuz İNAL received his Ph.D. in Information and Communication Technologies, Department of Computer Education and Instructional Technologies, Middle East Technical University (METU) in 2011. He worked seven years as a Research Assistant in METU. During his Ph.D., he worked as a researcher in METU Human-Computer Interaction Research Group and conducted research about human-computer interaction and interactive game design. His research interests are human-computer interaction, usability, usability engineering, user experience, user interface design. He was in Austria in 2005 to work on eye-tracking usability studies at Fh-Joanneum and Karl-Franz Universities. He worked as responsible for end user trainings, business analyst, usability expert and project manager at TÜBİTAK. He teaches Master courses on Human Computer Interaction and User Interface Design in Software Engineering Program, Institute of Informatics at Hacettepe University.

He is now affiliated with Department of Information Systems Engineering,
Faculty of Engineering,
Atılım University,
Ankara, Turkey.


Published
04-12-2016
How to Cite
Inal, Y. (2016). User-Friendly Locations of Error Messages in Web Forms: An Eye Tracking Study. Journal of Eye Movement Research, 9(5). https://doi.org/10.16910/jemr.9.5.1
Section
Articles