Designing for Trust: How Online News Consumers View and Interpret Informational Transparency Boxes

Abstract: A mixed-factorial laboratory eye-tracking experiment (N=90) examined web design’s role in the effectiveness of news transparency informational boxes on drawing consumers’ visual attention and the role of reading process box content in shaping perceptions of the article and publication. Results show that both a no-box design and high-contrast box design drew readers’ attention to information boxes, and that attention to box content situationally affected perceptions of reporting ethics but did not significantly influence credibility.