Sunday, August 20, 2006

Domain Names Can Leave Net Users in Tangled Web, Study Finds

About the usability of domain names ...

"In a world of e-mail spam and Internet scams, it’s often difficult to discern fact from fiction in cyberspace. Some Internet users can’t distinguish a real Web site from a fake one based on its domain name, and some users also said they would be more trusting of information found on sites they thought were real, but were really fictitious.

... “This study shows that people are having difficulty discriminating between Web sites that have a familiar or credible sounding name,” Wogalter says. “In some cases, people said they were more familiar with the sites that were simply made up by the researchers.”

Study participants were asked to rate their familiarity and trust levels of 16 different organizations and their corresponding Web sites from a list provided by the researchers. On each list, half of the 16 organizations and Web sites listed were real, and the other half were fake.

Although participants rated eight (50 percent) of the real Web sites as more trustworthy than their fictitious counterparts, they rated three fictitious sites significantly higher than actual Web sites. For the remaining five sites, participants could not discriminate between the actual and fictitious sites. An analysis of the data revealed that participants on average reported trusting about 50 percent of the information that might be accessible on any of the 16 Web site domain names given, suggesting there is some level of appropriate skepticism. Older participants also reported being less trusting of Internet information than younger participants."   (Continued via Physorg)   [Usability Resources]


Post a Comment

<< Home

<< Home