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|Browsing Experiments: Mission Statement|
Experiments created solely by Seth Maislin
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Mission Statement (with spoilers)
When I explained to colleagues and friends what I was building, they often laughed. When I sent these URLs to friends before the projects themselves were finalized, they complained and were full of advice on "how to make the experience better" or "more sensible." Yet the statistics surprised me: on average, these people still looked at over 70 pages from each experiment before giving up, and some continued to the end. This isn't about sitting and watching television mindlessly. On the contrary, navigating through the virtual experiences requires the user to click on something, to interact, to invite the next picture.
So as unpleasant or even hateful as some people found them (particularly the skating experience), why did they wait for some many images to download? Why did they keep going? My favorite comment about the skating site came from my friend Lou Ann: "This is the virtual equivalent to watching a car accident."
I don't know why people are driven to continue through the site. Certainly they have better things to do. I've invented and heard many possibilities, yet to be fair I don't know the correct answer or answers. All I know is that people not only get a little frustrated, but they also send the URL to friends. The word-of-mouth traffic these experiments surprises me. Then again, that's why it's an experiment.
I am hoping to collect enough feedback from viewers to determine what makes the site work, what inspires users to keep clicking. My ultimately goal is to develop an online experience that is as along as possible and encourages as many clicks as possible. If people are stopping after 70 clicks, what do I need to do to to increase that number to 100? In fact, is it even possible to do so, or is the 70-click limit equivalent to the average computer user's attention span?
Some ideas on why people keep clicking are listed below. Not all of these are original; some come from viewers. (If you have additional ideas, please write me.)
Contact Seth at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2000 Seth A. Maislin
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