A Usability and Eyetracking Study Over the Effectiveness of the Layouts of Three Video-Based Websites: YouTube, Hulu, and Vimeo



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Website usability is a practice commonly explored in various studies throughout the past several years (Cha; Madsen; Roth). The feedback gained through these projects allows companies to build sites that best fit their users’ needs and preferences. Most usability studies have focused on traditional web design, and Jakob Nielsen found that users frequently read websites in an “F-shaped” pattern where content is located along the left side and top of the webpage (Nielsen 1). As there has been little research over how best to design the layout of a website whose content relies mostly on videos, it is difficult to determine what ‘rules’ designers should follow for these sites. In this study, we hypothesized that a pattern for video-based websites similar to that of other websites existed and decided to test several sites for the usability of their layouts. The results divided into five categories: account creation, search bar, advertisements, general design, and the video player. In short, some websites caused problems when creating an account, the search bar brought up confusing results for the participants, the participants largely ignored advertisements, the general design can be overwhelming, and the participants preferred a video player without suggestions or other content around it. Overall, results revealed certain patterns followed by the users when interacting with the tested sites and led to the suggestions for the preferable overall design of a video-based website.



Usability, Eyetracking, Video-based Website Designs