Website usability differences between males and females: An eye-tracking evaluation of a climate decision support system

Weather, Climate, and Society
By: , and 

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Abstract

Decision support systems, which are collections of related information located in a central place, can be used as platforms from which climate information can be shared with decision-makers. In this study, a web-based climate decision support system (DSS) for foresters in the Southeast United States was evaluated using eye-tracking technology. The initial study design was exploratory and focused on assessing usability concerns within the website. Results showed differences between male and female forestry experts in their eye-tracking behavior and in their success with completing tasks and answering questions related to the climate information presented in the DSS. A follow-up study, using undergraduate students from a large university in the Southeast United States, aimed to determine if similar gender differences would be detected, and if so, if the cause(s) could be determined. The second evaluation, similar to the first, showed that males and females focused their attention on different aspects of the website; males focused more on the maps depicting climate information, while females focused more on other aspects of the website (e.g., text, search bars, color bars). DSS developers should consider these gender differences when designing a web-based DSS in order to effectively support various populations of users.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Website usability differences between males and females: An eye-tracking evaluation of a climate decision support system
Series title Weather, Climate, and Society
DOI 10.1175/WCAS-D-18-0127.1
Volume 12
Year Published 2020
Language English
Publisher American Meteorological Society
Contributing office(s) Southeast Climate Science Center
Description 10 p.
First page 183
Last page 192
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