Objective: This study was designed to investigate the effects of visual cues and language complexity on satisfaction and information recall using a personalised website for lung cancer patients. In addition, age effects were investigated.
Methods: An experiment using a 2 (complex vs. non-complex language) × 3 (text only vs. photograph vs. drawing) factorial design was conducted. In total, 200 respondents without cancer were exposed to one of the six conditions.
Results: Respondents were more satisfied with the comprehensibility of both websites when they were presented with a visual cue. A significant interaction effect was found between language complexity and photograph use such that satisfaction with comprehensibility improved when a photograph was added to the complex language condition. Next, an interaction effect was found between age and satisfaction, which indicates that adding a visual cue is more important for older adults than younger adults. Finally, respondents who were exposed to a website with less complex language showed higher recall scores.
Conclusion: The use of visual cues enhances satisfaction with the information presented on the website, and the use of non-complex language improves recall.
Practice implications: The results of the current study can be used to improve computer-based information systems for patients.
Keywords: Patient education, internet, photographs, drawings, visual cues, pictures, language complexity, satisfaction, recall, memory, comprehension, readability, ehealth, tailored, personalised websites