Study Reveals Mouse Movements Can Reflect Bad Web Design

December 17, 2015 at 5:32 pm By

If you’ve ever gotten to a website and have been utterly frustrated with the design or usability of it chances are your mouse movements may have given your frustrations away. A team of researchers have tracked this theory to find that mouse movements could detect how visitors feel about the design of a website.

“Brigham Young University professor Jeffrey Jenkins argues that taking note of how users move their mouse while on a webpage reveals positive or negative associations with the page and could lead to better web design,” according to FastCoDesign.

“Jenkins and his research partners Martin Hibbeln, Christoph Schneider, Markus Weinmann, and Joseph S. Valacich, published the results of three studies which conclude that erratic, imprecise cursor movements signal that a user is feeling frustrated, angry, confused, and/or sad.”

The findings were published in MIS Quarterly and one of the major theories discussed was the “Attention Control Theory.” The theory practically states that when a user goes to a site and has negative feedback, the attention becomes erratic due to the frustrations with the design.

“Traditionally it has been very difficult to pinpoint when a user becomes frustrated, leading them to not come back to a site,” Jenkins says in a news release.

“Being able to sense a negative emotional response, we can adjust the website experience to eliminate stress or to offer help.” 

It’s possible that in the future web-designers can use the technology associated with the study in order to tweak their websites and make he user experience better for their websites. 

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