Award Date

5-1-2014

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Journalism and Media Studies

Department

Journalism and Media Studies

First Committee Member

Gregory A. Borchard

Second Committee Member

Julian Kilker

Third Committee Member

Gary W. Larson

Fourth Committee Member

Sang-Duck Seo

Number of Pages

76

Abstract

In a media environment that increasingly demands captivating content on a website, user engagement becomes a critical factor in the strategy of maintaining user interest. Research based on website analytics has shown that decreasing the Bounce Rate increased the time a web user spends on a website, entailing higher user engagement. Bounce Rate is the ratio of single-page visits on a website divided by the total number of visits, and it is used primarily used to quantify user interest. By examining the analytics and design of the student-run news siteVirtual Rebel, produced by the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, this non-traditional thesis prospectus suggests a strategy to improve the communication of information, by developing methods to lessen the Bounce Rate and effectively increase user engagement. The purpose of this project also seeks to future-proofVirtual Rebel's content for subsequent users so that damage from media disruption is mitigated. Research had guided this strategy to apply an iterative process of analysis and modifications to various areas on the website. The areas of concentration were information architecture, graphic design, and media convergence. Through the process of adjusting these areas and analyzing Bounce Rate,Virtual Rebel's site owners were able to identify problems and find improvements, such that users were more engaged within the site. By increasing users' engagement on the website, the Bounce Rate was inherently lowered.

Keywords

Engagement (Philosophy); Google Analytics; Internet users; Web site development; Web sites--Design

Disciplines

Broadcast and Video Studies | Communication | Communication Technology and New Media | Journalism Studies | Mass Communication | Other Communication

Language

English