Empirically Validated Web Page Design Metrics

Paper appearing in ACM SIGCHI'01, March 31-April 4, 2001 by Melody Y. Ivory, Rashmi R. Sinha, Marti A. Hearst. A quantitative analysis of a large collection of expert-rated web sites reveals that page-level metrics can accurately predict if a site will be highly rated. The analysis also provides empirical evidence that important metrics, including page composition, page formatting, and overall page characteristics, differ among web site categories such as education, community, living, and finance. These results provide an empirical foundation for web site design guidelines and also suggest which metrics can be most important for evaluation via user studies.