First empirical study on how users pay visual attention to mobile app designs shows larger and brighter elements don’t catch our eyes after all — ScienceDaily

As part of an international collaboration, Aalto University researchers have shown that our common understanding of what attracts visual attention to screens, in fact, does not transfer to mobile applications. Despite the widespread use of mobile phones and tablets in our everyday lives, this is the first study to empirically test how users’ eyes follow commonly used mobile app elements.

Previous work on what attracts visual attention, or visual saliency, has centered on desktop and web-interfaces.

‘Apps appear differently on a phone than on a desktop computer or browser: they’re on a smaller screen which simply fits fewer elements and, instead of a horizontal view, mobile devices typically use a vertical layout. Until now it was unclear how these factors would affect how apps actually attract our eyes,’ explains Aalto University Professor Antti Oulasvirta.

In the study, the research team used a large set of representative mobile interfaces and eye

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Extraneous images draw attention from text, reducing comprehension in beginning readers — ScienceDaily

Reading is the gateway for learning, but one-third of elementary school students in the United States do not read at grade level. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are exploring how the design of reading materials affects literacy development. They find that an overly busy page with extraneous images can draw the reader’s attention away from the text, resulting in lower understanding of content.

The results of the study are available in the September issue of the journal npj Science of Learning.

“Learning to read is hard work for many kids,” said Anna Fisher, associate professor of psychology and senior author on the paper.

The typical design of books for beginning readers often include engaging and colorful illustrations to help define the characters and setting of the story, offer context for the text and motivate young readers. Fisher and Cassondra Eng, a doctoral candidate in CMU’s Department of Psychology and first

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