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Behaviour and Information Technology 27

Editors:Tom Stewart
Dates:2008
Volume:27
Publisher:Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Standard No:ISSN 0144-929X
Papers:52
Links:Table of Contents
  1. BIT 2008 Volume 27 Issue 1
  2. BIT 2008 Volume 27 Issue 2
  3. BIT 2008 Volume 27 Issue 3
  4. BIT 2008 Volume 27 Issue 4
  5. BIT 2008 Volume 27 Issue 5
  6. BIT 2008 Volume 27 Issue 6

BIT 2008 Volume 27 Issue 1

Editorial BIBFull-Text 1-2
  Tom Stewart
Comparing the effects of website quality on customer initial purchase and continued purchase at e-commerce websites BIBAFull-Text 3-16
  Huei-Huang Kuan; Gee-Woo Bock; Vichita Vathanophas
To succeed in the highly competitive e-commerce environment, it is vital to understand the impact of website quality in enhancing customer conversion and retention. Although numerous contingent website attributes have been identified in the extant website quality studies, there is no unified framework to classify these attributes and no comparison done between customer conversion and retention according to the different website quality attributes and their varying impact. This study adopts the model of Information Systems (IS) success by DeLone and McLean to provide a parsimonious and unified view of website quality, and compares the impact of website quality on intention of initial purchase with that on intention of continued purchase. With the proposed framework, we seek to understand how a company can increase customer conversion and/or retention. Our findings demonstrate the strength of our framework in explaining the impact of website quality on intention to purchase on the Web, and that website quality constructs exert different impact on intention of initial purchase and intention of continued purchase. The results suggest that an online company should focus on system quality to increase customer conversion, and on service quality for customer retention.
Effect of indirect information on system trust and control allocation BIBAFull-Text 17-29
  P. De Vries; C. Midden
In contrast with most other experimental system trust research, this paper examines indirect information as a basis for trust. In experiment 1, the overall valence of an evaluation concerning a route planner was pitted against a consensus cue, i.e. a favourable opinion about the system endorsed by a minority versus a majority. A positive evaluation caused an increase of system trust, whereas a negative evaluation led to a decrease. Control allocation, i.e. choosing manual or automatic mode, however, remained unaffected. Furthermore, no effect was found of consensus; one explanation holds that, despite the absence of outcome feedback, displaying of routes on-screen provided interfering trust-relevant information. Focusing solely on the consensus effect in the absence of route display, experiment 2 revealed consensus to affect both trust and control allocation.
   These experiments show that trust-relevant information can be processed heuristically and systematically. Possibly, trust can also be based on direct information despite absence of feedback whether generated solutions are good or bad.
Exploring anchoring effect and the moderating role of repeated anchor in electronic commerce BIBAFull-Text 31-42
  C. S. Wu; F. F. Cheng; H. H. Lin
Most of the anchoring studies conduct the experiments following two-stage experimental design in which a comparative judgement is followed by an absolute estimate. However, this design is impractical in many situations, especially in online auction environments where consumers cannot be asked to make comparisons before they make estimates. This study suggests and validates an alternative experimental design where no comparison process is needed to induce anchoring bias. Moreover, we postulate that repeated occurrence of anchoring points affect the strength of the anchoring effect on participants' price estimates. Two experiments were conducted to investigate the anchoring effect in both two-stage and one-stage designs. The results showed that the anchoring effect was robust under two-stage design, and repeated occurrence of the anchor did not reinforce the anchoring effect. Moreover, people's price estimates are susceptible to the anchoring effect even when they were not asked to make a comparative judgement before they determine the final estimate. However, the anchoring effect can be further consolidated when the anchor appears three times rather than once. Experimental design introduced in study 2 provides a promising website design direction and we suggest that high anchors should be embedded in a web page repeatedly to influence the buyers' value estimates to produce a premium.
Content preparation for cross-cultural e-commerce: a review and a model BIBAFull-Text 43-61
  H. Liao; R. W. Proctor; G. Salvendy
Content preparation is an important stage in e-commerce website development. It is critical to present appropriate information content to facilitate consumers' decision-making. In the international e-commerce setting, to better serve users from different countries, their different information preferences must be accommodated by taking cultural differences between countries into consideration in content preparation. After examining relevant literature, this paper proposes a conceptual model on content preparation for cross-cultural e-commerce. The model explores cultural effects on information processing of consumers by taking into account both normative effects and psychological effects. Tentative conclusions about cultural differences that need to be accommodated in content preparation are also offered.
Critical purchasing incidents in e-business BIBAFull-Text 63-77
  Kristen Oldenburger; Xinran Lehto; Richard Feinberg; Mark Lehto; Gavriel Salvendy
This research utilized the critical incident technique (CIT) to identify factors influencing customer satisfaction and retention of customers participating in e-commerce transactions. Customers were asked in telephone interviews to discuss both particularly satisfying and dissatisfying (or critical) incidents they had experienced when using web sites to conduct transactions. Each customer also provided demographic information, rated their satisfaction with the experience and ecommerce provider, and was asked how often they purchased products from the provider prior to and after the incident. Analysis revealed 662 citations by customers of items contributing to either positive or negative experiences. Exploratory text-mining analysis revealed that the majority of positive items pertained to the transaction (38%), product (25%), or website (23%), and to customer support (35%) or the transaction for negative items (30%). Approximately 86% of customers citing positive items said they were very likely to use the e-commerce site again, compared to 22% of customers citing negative items. Customer support and user experience both seemed to play an important mediating role on the criticality of negative incidents. Over 70% of first time users and customers who said customer support ignored or refused their requests for assistance said they were unlikely to return to the site, compared to 20% when customer support was said to be responsive. Correlation analysis confirmed that negative incidents tended to be more critical than positive ones, and more so for first time customers.
Managing readiness in enterprise systems-driven organizational change BIBAFull-Text 79-87
  Kee-Young Kwahk; Hee-Woong Kim
The introduction of enterprise systems (ES) frequently leads to organizational change, as it involves multiple stakeholders and is associated with fundamental organizational improvements cutting across functional and organizational boundaries. Recognizing that ES implementations are overshadowed by a high failure rate because of resistance to change, this study focuses on the development of readiness for change as a way to ease an IT-driven organizational change, including ES implementations. We find that readiness for change can be enhanced by boosting the relevant individuals' attachment to the organization and their perceived personal competence regardless of the focal ES package and its technological characteristics. We also find that readiness for change positively impacts ES usage intention together with the technological characteristics of the focal ES package. Theoretical and practical implications of the study are discussed along with its limitations.
Development and validation of a computer expertise questionnaire for older adults BIBAFull-Text 89-93
  K. Arning; M. Ziefle
Prior computer expertise represents one of the most important predictors of performance when interacting with ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) and acquiring computer skills. Due to demographic changes, the older adult will become increasingly important as a potential user. However, there is a lack of instruments for the assessment of computer expertise in older adults, especially for novice users with restricted prior computer knowledge. A computer expertise (CE) questionnaire for older adults was developed, analysed (Study I) and validated (Study II). Item-analysis showed that the CE-questionnaire is particularly appropriate for the computer knowledge level of older adults and measures computer expertise sufficiently. Furthermore, it was found that computer experience (in terms of frequency of computer usage) is a poor predictor of actual computer performance, which has important implications for the theoretical conceptualization of computer expertise and its assessment.

BIT 2008 Volume 27 Issue 2

You are never alone with a computer -- Social issues BIBFull-Text 95-96
  Tom Stewart
Structural reproduction of social networks in computer-mediated communication forums BIBAFull-Text 97-106
  M. A. Stefanone; G. Gay
This study explores the relationship between the structure of an existing social network and the structure of an emergent discussion-board network in an undergraduate university class. Thirty-one students were issued with laptop computers that remained in their possession for the duration of the semester. While using these machines, participants' email log files were collected directly from the University's email servers. The analysis compared structural attributes of actors evident in their social network with the emergent structural properties measured from interactions in a shared discussion board environment. A significant relationship was found between the existing social network structure and the emergent communication patterns, suggesting that existing relationships have a strong influence on subsequent computer-mediated communication. Additional matrices were used to control for gender, major and perceived computer efficacy, none of which had a significant effect.
How do different types of intragroup conflict affect group potency in virtual compared with face-to-face teams? A longitudinal study BIBAFull-Text 107-114
  E. M. Lira; P. Ripoll; A Peiró. M.; V. Orengo
The number of organizations using teamwork is increasing. In this context, group potency has emerged as a key construct in group research. Moreover, in the last decades, information and communication technologies (ICT) have allowed organizations to form virtual teams. Consequently, a considerable amount of research has analysed the functioning of virtual teams. We focus on intragroup conflict as a relevant antecedent of potency in computer-mediated communication groups. Specifically, the aim of this research is to examine the role of ICT in the relationship between intragroup conflict and group potency in a longitudinal study. A laboratory experiment was carried out comparing 44 groups working in two communication media (face-to-face and computer-mediated communication). The groups developed a project over a one-month period. The results show that communication media play a moderator role between intragroup conflict (relationship and task conflict) and group potency. Implications of these results are discussed.
Factors affecting members' trust belief and behaviour intention in virtual communities BIBAFull-Text 115-125
  Jyh-Jeng Wu; Alex S. L. Tsang
In this research we investigate whether antecedent factors of participant trust and institutional trust significantly influence members' trust belief towards virtual communities. Further, we investigate how members' trust levels affect their behaviour intention. A model of factors that affect members' trust in virtual communities is constructed. We analysed 625 valid online questionnaires obtained from virtual communities related to travel, games, and computer information. The findings suggest that benefit attraction and shared value have significant positive effects on building participant trust, and monitoring has a significant positive effect on building institutional trust. Trust building influences both members' stickiness in virtual communities and their willingness to share information. This research suggests that the extent to which members trust community-based website environments significantly influences their practical behaviour in such environments.
Bridging the gap between students and computers: supporting activity awareness for network collaborative learning with GSM network BIBAFull-Text 127-137
  C. -C. Liu; S. -Y. Tao; J. -N. Nee
The internet has been widely used to promote collaborative learning among students. However, students do not always have access to the system, leading to doubt in the interaction among the students, and reducing the effectiveness of collaborative learning, since the web-based collaborative learning environment relies entirely on the availability of computers and the internet. A web-based collaborative learning scheme based on activity awareness carried out through mobile phones is proposed herein. The proposed mechanism automatically sends SMS messages on a GSM network, based on student identity and learning activity, making the student aware of the collaborative learning context, and further improving the student's learning. A web-based collaborative learning activity was implemented in a Taiwan undergraduate class to examine the proposed scheme. Experiments demonstrated that awareness of the collaborative learning context through mobile phones significantly increased student participation in learning activity and improving student learning performance.
Exploring computer-based multilingual negotiation support for English -- Chinese dyads: can we negotiate in our native languages? BIBAFull-Text 139-151
  John Lim; Yin Ping Yang
The increasing number of international negotiations involving multiple languages has triggered a growing reliance on computer-based multilingual support. Whereas empirical studies on negotiation support systems (NSS) have shown that NSS generally improve negotiation performance, very few NSS exist that cater for multilingual negotiations. With multilingual support, international negotiators of different language backgrounds are expected to address communication barriers and problems. This study involves the development of an NSS prototype with multilingual support as well as a laboratory experiment to examine the efficacy of such support on six important negotiation outcome variables (individual outcome, joint outcome, equality of outcome, time to settlement, satisfaction with process and satisfaction with outcome). Findings suggested significant effects of NSS support on individual outcome and joint outcome. Multilingual support helped to improve equality of outcome (under qualified conditions), but the time taken was significantly longer. The paper underlines the possibility and significance of computer-based multilingual support to address diverse linguistic groups in global negotiation context.
Factors influencing feature usage in work-related communication BIBAFull-Text 153-168
  G. Lindgaard; S. Narasimhan
Two studies are presented. The first aimed to identify possible barriers to the uptake and use of commonly available telephony features and to determine whether greater knowledge of features/access codes and availability of user manuals could increase feature usage under certain conditions. Results showed that feature-usage patterns were not affected by any of the manipulations, but that they were determined by specific job demands. Using Constantine and Lockwood's (1999) conceptualization of user roles, a method to support feature bundling decisions for specific target markets was developed and tested in the second study. The method -- Strategic User Needs Analysis (SUNA) -- was shown to yield a useful balance between high- and low-level information about selected roles. SUNA provided sufficient information to distinguish between PDA feature usage patterns of two similar target user groups as well as to suggest additional features each of the two target groups would find useful. The development of SUNA and observational findings of actual PDA usage are reported.
Beliefs about the social roles and capabilities of computing technology: development of the computing technology continuum of perspective BIBAFull-Text 169-181
  Richard D. Johnson; George M. Marakas; Jonathan W. Palmer
Using data from 1216 students and professionals, this research developed a new construct focusing on beliefs about the social role and capabilities of computing technology, the computing technology continuum of perspective (CP). Results indicated that individuals have different beliefs about the social role and capabilities of computing technology along four dimensions, including beliefs about: 1) intelligence; 2) socialness; 3) control; 4) control of rights. Results further indicated that an individual's CP was related to gender, experience with computers, as well as locus of control, self-esteem, neuroticism and general computer self-efficacy. Implications are drawn for future research investigating various beliefs about the social role and capabilities of computing technology.
The top 10 greatest screen legends and what their definitive roles demonstrate about management and organizational behaviour BIBAFull-Text 183-188
  Steve Dunphy; David Meyer; Sara Linton
Those interested in using multimedia films for the purpose of illustrating, critiquing and even correcting behaviour in organizations face a daunting array of choices from training films to television to full length movies. The authors suggest that the top screen 'legends' of Hollywood and their definitive roles should be considered as an alternative for accomplishing this task. To assist in this endeavour, a table is constructed summarizing the top legends based on a recent survey conducted by the American Film Institute. In this paper the 'best films' are specified. Links from the literature on organizational behaviour and management are provided and an application is given.

BIT 2008 Volume 27 Issue 3

Editorial BIBFull-Text 189-190
  Tom Stewart
Evaluating websites for older adults: adherence to 'senior-friendly' guidelines and end-user performance BIBAFull-Text 191-199
  T. A. Hart; B. S. Chaparro; C. G. Halcomb
Older adults in the US are the fastest-growing demographic, and also the largest-growing group of internet users. The aim of this research was to evaluate websites designed for older adults in terms of (i) how well they adhere to 'senior-friendly' guidelines and (ii) overall ease of use and satisfaction. In Experiment I, 40 websites designed for older adults were heuristically evaluated based on their adherence to usability guidelines derived by the National Institute on Aging and the National Library of Medicine. In Experiment II, three websites with varying levels of guideline compliance were evaluated by older adults in a usability test. Results from this study indicate that the website most compliant with the 'senior-friendly' guidelines resulted in higher task success, but did not result in significantly better efficiency, satisfaction, or preference. These findings demonstrate the importance of using both guidelines and usability testing when designing websites for older adults.
Continued use of a Chinese online portal: an empirical study BIBAFull-Text 201-209
  Hung-Pin Shih
The evolution of the internet has made online portals a popular means of surfing the internet. In internet commerce, understanding the post-adoption behaviour of users of online portals can help enterprises to attract new users and retain existing customers. For predicting continued use intentions, this empirical study focused on applying and modifying the diffusion of innovation (DOI) theory to explore the use of a Chinese web portal (Yahoo-Kimo). The empirical results indicate that each of the innovation characteristics (compatibility, relative advantage, complexity and playfulness) significantly affect the continued use intentions of adopters. In determining continued use intentions, males were more influenced by relative advantage than females, while females were more influenced by perceived playfulness than males. Compatibility is the strongest factor to influence both male and female adopters' continued use intentions for online portals.
Back vs. stack: training the correct mental model affects web browsing BIBAFull-Text 211-218
  M. Uther; H. Haley
This study explored the issue of how web users understand how the back button works on a standard web browser. Sixty participants were divided into two groups: those who were taught the correct mental model (stack-based) vs. those who did not receive any mental model information. The participants were then given a scenario-based task in which they were required to predict which pages would be available with a back button and those which would not be. The participants were then required to perform a standardised web browsing task and the amount of page traverses and back button usages were measured. Results showed that there were significantly fewer page traverses as a result of the mental model condition, suggesting a more efficient web page browsing resulted from the mental model training. In addition, there were surprisingly very few incorrect usages of the back button, possibly due to floor effects caused by demand characteristics. These data suggest that there is clearly an effect on web browsing navigation as a function of being taught the correct mental model.
Understanding individual investor's behavior with financial information disclosed on the web sites BIBAFull-Text 219-227
  Kun Chang Lee; Namho Chung; Inwon Kang
Today's financial firms are required to disclose a great deal of data -- including investment support information -- on their corporate web sites. Since web sites have become an integral part of financial information disclosures, and because the multimedia characteristics embedded in those web sites have been shown to affect investors' responses, our research examines the various factors influencing investors' intention to use financial web sites to search for information. The basic premise of this study is that the reactions of individual investors in such situations translate naturally to an intention to use financial web sites and, ultimately, to actual use of these sites. By using a technology acceptance model, we conducted a rigorous questionnaire survey, over an illustrative web site on which financial information is disclosed on a regular basis as a means of providing individual investors with decision support. Our principal findings showed that: (1) consistency and technical convenience influence perceived ease of use; (2) decision quality, investment information and information quality affect perceived usefulness; and (3) perceived usefulness to the individual investor is affected most by decision quality, while perceived ease of use is influenced equally by consistency and technical convenience.
Online privacy control via anonymity and pseudonym: Cross-cultural implications BIBAFull-Text 229-242
  Houn-Gee Chen; Charlie C. Chen; Louis Lo; Samuel C. Yang
Privacy's exact nature needs to reflect the contemporary view of a society. A growing number of online users demand the protection of their personal privacy via anonymity and pseudonym. The efficacy of these two privacy controls in different online environments is unknown. This study applies social psychology theories to explore the relationship between these personal sentiments -- authoritative personality, empathy, fear of negative evaluation, self-esteem, and motives of online privacy rights. We conducted a quasi-experiment by manipulating four online environments (personal e-mail exchange, members-only newsgroup, public newsgroup, and online chat room), and three user identification modes (real name, anonymity and pseudonym). More than 600 subjects from the USA and Taiwan participated in the experimental study. The results of path analysis confirm the effects of some personal sentiments on the motives of online privacy rights. The study concludes with theoretical and practical implications for the roles of privacy in the online society.
Lost in translation: investigating the ambiguity of availability cues in an online media space BIBAFull-Text 243-262
  R. Harr; M. Wiberg
In this paper we present a longitudinal study of an online media space addressing the question of how availability is managed in an interaction-intensive organization. We relied on three different data collection techniques and analysed our data in relation to three different work modes. During this study we participated in an online media space, for approximately six months making spot checks and observing the population from which ten subjects were selected for interviews. Our results show how techniques and strategies for availability management are developed and continuously adapted to a shared common ground. Further, our results show how having the communication channel open, and regulating availability on a social level instead of on a solely technical level, has the advantage of better coping with the ever-changing dynamics in group works. Finally, we show that there exists an ambiguity of availability cues in online media spaces that is smoothly handled by individuals.
Comparative usability evaluation (CUE-4) BIBAFull-Text 263-281
  Rolf Molich; Joseph S. Dumas
This paper reports on the approach and main results of CUE-4, the fourth in a series of Comparative Usability Evaluation studies. A total of 17 experienced professional teams independently evaluated the usability of the website for the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York. Nine teams used usability testing while eight teams used expert reviews. The CUE-4 results document a wide difference in resources applied and issues reported. The teams reported 340 different usability issues. Only nine of these issues were reported by more than half of the teams, while 205 issues (60%) were uniquely reported, that is, no two teams reported the same issue. A total of 61 of the 205 uniquely reported issues were classified as serious or critical problems. The study also shows that there was no practical difference between the results obtained from usability testing and expert reviews for the issues identified. It was not possible to prove the existence of either missed problems or false alarms in expert reviews. The paper further discusses quality measures for usability evaluation productivity.

BIT 2008 Volume 27 Issue 4

Special issue of Behavioural and Information Technology with key note lectures and selected papers from the 8th international conference on Work With Computing Systems 2007 -- WWCS 2007 -- in Stockholm May 21st-24th 2007 BIBFull-Text 283-284
 
History of WWDU Conferences -- A personal view BIBFull-Text 285-286
  Tom Stewart
Good computing systems for everyone -- how on earth? Cultural aspects BIBAFull-Text 287-292
  Pei-Luen Patrick Rau; Qin Gao; Sheau-Farn Max Liang
People with different cultural backgrounds think and behave differently. Different cultural characteristics of users of computing systems become significant issues. Studies on cultural differences from various perspectives such as cultural dimensions, presentation, and cognition provide useful information. However, we have not yet succeeded in making computing systems into a very usable environment supporting users with different cultural backgrounds. This paper provides an overview and a comprehensive appraisal of past literatures for cross-cultural effects on computing systems. Cultural dimensions in Hofstede's cultural model and Hall's cultural model are introduced. Then the cross-cultural effects on human-computer interaction are discussed from three perspectives: perceptual, cognitive, and affective, respectively. Finally, cross-cultural challenges in new technologies are discussed in order to throw light onto the future of computing.
Usability and interaction design -- new challenges for the Scandinavian tradition BIBAFull-Text 293-300
  Susanne Bødker; Yngve Sundblad
Computer use and interaction possibilities are changing quickly, while use contexts and application types are radically broadening. Technology no longer consists of static tools belonging only to the workplace but permeates work on the move, homes and everyday lives. Pervasive technologies, augmented reality, small interfaces, tangible interfaces, etc. are dramatically changing the nature of HCI (human-computer interaction). We witness the creation of ad hoc configurations of large and small user interfaces. The new interfaces are moveable and used in changing locations and contexts; different tasks are done through a combination of specialized technologies. A wider repertoire of physical instruments is available than the keyboard and the mouse. Based on examples from recent research projects and a collage of concepts and solutions, we discuss how these recent developments challenge our understanding of usability and interaction design. In particular, we discuss how the Scandinavian tradition of user involvement in development is facing up with the challenges of new work and of non-work contexts. There is a tendency that much recent investigations into non-work settings get stuck in a divide between work on the one hand, and leisure, arts, and home on the other; between rationality on the hand, and emotion on the other. The Scandinavian tradition can be developed to embrace people's whole lives and transcend the dichotomies between work, rationality, etc. and their negations and a Scandinavian perspective should and could move the current co-determination framework outside of work.
Case study: integrating usability activities in a software development process BIBAFull-Text 301-306
  R. Th. Høegh
This paper presents an action research study of a Danish software development company's efforts to develop software with a high degree of usability. The company started a department mainly focused at improving the user experience of their product, and this paper outlines the most important issues related to the integration of this department in the company. The themes were related to the formal procedures in the company, prioritizing the usability issues in relation to development issues, feedback from the human factors team to the developers and issues related to the future success of the human factors team.
A case study of three software projects: can software developers anticipate the usability problems in their software? BIBAFull-Text 307-312
  Rune Thaarup Høegh; Janne Jul Jensen
The purpose of usability evaluations is typically to discover which areas of a system that perform satisfactory to the end-user and which areas that need redesigning or improving. However, such evaluations can be costly both in time and funds and when developers say that many of the results from the usability evaluations are issues already known to them, then why bother? This article discusses the result of three case studies in which the participants of a development process were asked to describe the usability problems of the system they had helped develop. These descriptions were then compared with the results of a usability evaluation involving end-users to uncover if software developers can describe which usability problems exist in their software. To some extent they can. However, they do not always agree on the problems, and the severity ratings were often different from the ones based on the experiences from the users. Furthermore, the developers' description of the problems was typically more abstract and less detailed than the descriptions from the usability evaluation. The tendency was that the most critical problems and the problems most often experienced were listed by the participants and thus the amount of problems known by the developers was a lot less than the amount of problems discovered by the usability evaluation.
Visual cognitive performance of elderly people: effects on reading time of age, character size and visual distance BIBAFull-Text 313-318
  M. Omori; M. Miyao; H. Kanamori; B. Atsumi
In this study, we conducted two experiments on visual cognitive performance in reading an on-board information device. Experiment 1: The relation between the gazing time needed for reading and the number of Kanji characters displayed was investigated, as the number of characters was changed in three steps. The gazing time was divided into preparation time and information processing time. The unit information processing speed was calculated from the amount of information read divided by the information processing time. Experiment 2: The character size was changed between three conditions (large, middle and small), and visual distance was changed between two conditions (700 and 2000 mm). The gazing time was similar to that in experiment 1. The results from these experiments are applicable to the design of user-friendly information devices, taking into account the user's age.
Foundations of an age-differentiated adaptation of the human-computer interface BIBAFull-Text 319-324
  N. Schneider; S. Schreiber; J. Wilkes; M. Grandt; C. M. Schlick
An important issue of the demographic change in the German population is the maintenance and promotion of the employability of aging workforces. However, there are hardly any suitable concepts or usable tools available to realize this goal. Possible approaches should push the individual strengths of the aging workers to the foreground and intercept the possible physical and cognitive losses in ability that occur with an increase in age. The computer thus plays an important role due to a continuous increase in mechanization. An age-based, individual adaptive user interface shall be developed to support the elderly in working with the computer. Basics for such an interface will be presented in this paper. First connections between user characteristics and adaptation dimensions were analyzed in a study with 90 subjects ranging from 20 to 73 years of age and will be presented in this article. Results indicate a significant influence of graphical layout on memorization as well as interpretation performance.
Development and validation of a computer expertise questionnaire for older adults BIBAFull-Text 325-329
  K. Arning; M. Ziefle
Prior computer expertise represents one of the most important predictors of performance when interacting with ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) and acquiring computer skills. Due to demographic changes, the older adult will become increasingly important as a potential user. However, there is a lack of instruments for the assessment of computer expertise in older adults, especially for novice users with restricted prior computer knowledge. A computer expertise (CE) questionnaire for older adults was developed, analysed (Study I) and validated (Study II). Item-analysis showed that the CE-questionnaire is particularly appropriate for the computer knowledge level of older adults and measures computer expertise sufficiently. Furthermore, it was found that computer experience (in terms of frequency of computer usage) is a poor predictor of actual computer performance, which has important implications for the theoretical conceptualization of computer expertise and its assessment.
Cultural influences on the comprehensibility of icons in mobile-computer interaction BIBAFull-Text 331-337
  P. Pappachan; M. Ziefle
Icons are often considered as language free and therefore assumed to be especially suited for inter-cultural usage. This article examines if icons within the mobile context are inter-culturally comprehensible. The study was carried out in Kerala, South India. Fifty-eight participants of a wide age range (17-75 years) volunteered to take part. The icons under study were representatives for common mobile phone functions and were partly taken from real interfaces and were partly self-created. Icons varied in their concreteness/abstractness and their visual complexity. A naming method was adopted: Participants had first to evaluate what a specific icon pictured (pictorial transparency) and, directly after, they had to indicate the icon's meaning in the context of mobile communication (semantic transparency and comprehensibility). Results showed that the comprehensibility of icons mainly depend on two major characteristics, which can be regarded as culture-unspecific. No matter which cultural background users have, the more details an icon contains and the more concrete an icon is, the more it is correctly interpreted. However, we identified also cultural influences on the comprehensibility of specific icons, showing that icon design also should consider cultural specificities.
Learning to interact with a computer by gaze BIBAFull-Text 339-344
  Hirotaka Aoki; John Paulin Hansen; Kenji Itoh
The aim of this paper is to examine the learning processes that subjects undertake when they start using gaze as computer input. A 7-day experiment with eight Japanese students was carried out to record novice users' eye movement data during typing of 110 sentences. The experiment revealed that inefficient eye movements was dramatically reduced after only 15-25 sentences of typing, equal to approximately 3-4 h of practice. The performance data fits a general learning model based on the power law of practice. The learning model can be used to estimate further improvements in gaze typing performance. Our experimental results encourage the use of gaze-based interfaces for severely disabled people. This paper provides a taxonomy for gaze actions on dwell time-activated keys and it presents a method by which the learnability of gaze interfaces may be documented.
Use of information and communication technology to supply health-care services to nomadic patients: An explorative survey BIBAFull-Text 345-350
  Maria Cristina Caratozzolo; Sebastiano Bagnara; Oronzo Parlangeli
"Nomadic" patients are people who, mainly for work, move around the world very often. Such people have the right to an effective, safe, fast health-care assistance wherever they are. Some technological devices are currently being experimented, in order to let personal health-related information be portable and easily transferable. However, each of these devices follows an idiosyncratic concept. An explorative study has been carried out in order to understand which procedures, if any are currently being used in Italy to manage nomadic patients' data. The goal of this work was to outline a concept of information architecture for an efficient technological support device, essential to the transfer of medical data.

BIT 2008 Volume 27 Issue 5

Editorial BIBFull-Text 351-353
  Tom Stewart
Effective advertising on mobile phones: a literature review and presentation of results from 53 case studies BIBAFull-Text 355-373
  Taezoon Park; Rashmi Shenoy; Gavriel Salvendy
The attempts of using the wireless network as a new advertising media are rapidly increasing. This paper proposes a framework for understanding the characteristics of advertising through mobile phones. The paper discusses the traits of online advertisements and comparison to other advertising media. It also presents the overview of different conceptual models for advertising and suggests a conceptual model for mobile phone advertising. A review is presented on the factors affecting the effect of mobile advertising and three groups of factors are suggested; advertisement; audience; and environment. A total number of 53 case studies is collected and categorised based on product category, business object, target audience and advertisement type. Four observations are made from the case studies in the viewpoint of the three factor framework.
The effects of information quality of mobile information services on user satisfaction and service acceptance-empirical evidence from Finland BIBAFull-Text 375-385
  T. Koivumäki; A. Ristola; M. Kesti
Mobile services are steadily gaining greater foothold in everyday life, both in leisure and business. However, a real mobile services breakthrough, other than voice calls and SMS, has not yet been realized. This study focuses on how different dimensions of information quality affect consumers' satisfaction towards mobile information services and eventually the acceptance of these services. We analyze how these dimensions affect consumer satisfaction in both utilitarian and hedonic use contexts. Results show that all information quality dimensions have a statistically significant positive relationship with user satisfaction. User satisfaction in turn has a positive relationship with the intention to use a service again. Results also indicate that content is more important for users with hedonic goals.
Directional bias in scrolling tasks: a study of users' scrolling behaviour using a mobile text-entry strategy BIBAFull-Text 387-393
  Frode Eika Sandnes
Mobile devices with limited interaction controls often employ cyclic scrolling for retrieval tasks. In this paper the scrolling behaviour of users entering text using a tree-key input technique based on two-phase cyclic character scrolling is studied. The results show that users have a tendency to scroll more from left-to-right than from right-to-left. However, users do also use the right-to-left functionality to both speed up their text entry task by choosing the shortest path and to make navigational corrections, suggesting that it is appropriate to provide bidirectional scrolling functionality in user interfaces on constrained mobile devices. In situations where a device architect is constrained to providing only unidirectional scrolling, the results suggest that a right-directional design is preferred over a left-directional design.
Do video clips add more value than audio clips? Presenting industrial research and development results using multimedia BIBAFull-Text 395-405
  Bruce Christie; Jenny Collyer
It was hypothesised that in multimedia information applications a visual component can add value to otherwise audio-only clips. Subjects rated clips used in published CD-ROMs and how much they remembered was also tested. In one set of clips, the visual component was removed, in a second the audio was removed and a third set was unedited. The experiment was run three times, on different groups, to check replicability. For all groups, clips with a visual component as well as audio were judged to contain more information and to be more interesting than audio-only clips. There was also some evidence that the visual component can increase subjects' confidence in what they can remember. Other expected effects were not observed in every group in which they were tested. It is speculated that training in media literacy may help developers to use the visual component more effectively.
User developed application success: sources and effects of involvement BIBAFull-Text 407-422
  T. McGill; J. Klobas
User participation and involvement have long been associated with system success. This paper reports on a study to investigate the role of involvement in user developed application success. The experimental study explored the chain of influences between involvement and the different forms of information systems success and clarified how these influences differ for participants and non-participants in the development process. While participation was shown to result in greater success on all the measures included in the study, the effect of participation is mediated by involvement. In this study, involvement was derived from one of two sources, depending on participation: for participants in development, involvement was derived from their participation but was unaffected by system quality, while for non-participants, involvement was derived partially from system quality. Involvement also acted differently: involvement derived from system quality directly affected both perceived system quality and user satisfaction, while involvement derived from participation directly affected only perceived system quality.
Making the law accessible to non-lawyers: effects of different kinds of expertise on perceived usability of online legal information services BIBAFull-Text 423-437
  D. R. Newman; U. Doherty
To help design an environment in which professionals without legal training can make effective use of public sector legal information on planning and the environment -- for Add-Wijzer, a European e-government project -- we evaluated their perceptions of usefulness and usability. In concurrent think-aloud usability tests, lawyers and non-lawyers carried out information retrieval tasks on a range of online legal databases. We found that non-lawyers reported twice as many difficulties as those with legal training (p = 0.001), that the number of difficulties and the choice of database affected successful completion, and that the non-lawyers had surprisingly few problems understanding legal terminology. Instead, they had more problems understanding the syntactical structure of legal documents and collections. The results support the constraint attunement hypothesis (CAH) of the effects of expertise on information retrieval, with implications for the design of systems to support the effective understanding and use of information.
Adaptively shortened pull down menus: location knowledge and selection efficiency BIBAFull-Text 439-444
  Sebastian Fischer; Stephan Schwan
Adaptively shortened pull down menus, as introduced by Microsoft with the 'personalized menus' in Office 2000 and assumed to speed up menu selection, are examined. Displacement of items in this adaptively changing menu is argued to conflict with the user's location knowledge, leading to increased selection times and error rates. In a controlled experiment with 31 subjects, a standard menu was compared with a shortened and a gapped menu variant. The gapped menu variant served to distinguish effects from displacement and effects resulting from reduced item number. Selection times and error rates were smaller for the standard menu than for the shortened variant. The gapped menu, whilst it has longer distances, was faster than the shortened menu, but slower than the standard menu. According to our findings, the assumption that adaptively shortened pull down menus facilitate menu selection is weakened.
Keeping our network safe: a model of online protection behaviour BIBAFull-Text 445-454
  Doohwang Lee; Robert Larose; Nora Rifon
The objective of this study is to develop and test a model of online protection behaviour, particularly regarding the use of virus protection. Hypotheses are proposed concerning the predictors of the intention to engage in virus protection behaviour. Using a survey of 273 college students who use the Internet, a test of the hypotheses is conducted using multiple regression analysis. The result suggests that perceived self-efficacy in using virus protection measures, perceived response efficacy of virus protective measures, positive outcome expectations of virus protection measures, perceived vulnerability to virus threats and prior virus infection experiences were the most important predictors of the intention to adopt virus protection behaviour. The conclusion is that those who are in charge of information security management should not only concentrate their efforts into increasing individuals' awareness of the likelihood of virus attacks, but also conduct interventions aimed at increasing self-efficacy and response efficacy beliefs.

BIT 2008 Volume 27 Issue 6

Editorial BIBFull-Text 455-456
  Tom Stewart
Effective user involvement in product development by improving the analysis of user needs BIBAFull-Text 457-473
  S. Kujala
User involvement has been shown to be beneficial in the development of useful and usable systems. The trend of software development becoming a product-oriented activity creates challenges to user involvement. Field studies appear a promising approach, but the analysis of the gathered user needs has been shown to be demanding. This study presents, on the basis of seven case studies, an early user-involvement process showing how user needs can be analysed and how the input to product development can be identified. In addition, the process is evaluated in two industrial cases with interviews and a questionnaire. The results show that the process supports effective early user involvement; the resulted requirements were evaluated as being more successful and their quality as better than average in a company. However, the case studies show that user involvement not only provides useful information about users' needs but also increases the understanding of users' values.
Towards an account of intuitiveness BIBAFull-Text 475-482
  Phil Turner
Intuitive systems are usable systems. Design guidelines advocate intuitiveness and vendors claim it -- but what does it mean for a user interface, interactive system, or device to be intuitive? A review of the use of the term 'intuitive' indicates that it has two distinct but overlapping meanings, namely intuitiveness based on familiarity and intuitiveness reflecting our embodiment (and frequently both). While everyday usage indicates that familiarity means either a passing acquaintance or an intimacy with something or someone, it will be concluded that familiarity might best be equated with 'know-how', which in turn is based on a deep, often tacit, understanding. The intuitive nature of tangible user interfaces will in turn be attributed to embodiment rather than tangibility per se. Merleau-Ponty writes that it is through our bodies that we 'prehend' the world. A number of disciplines now regard action-perception as so closely coupled that they are better considered as a dyad rather than separately. A modified treatment of action-perception coupling is proposed, with familiarity providing an epistemic core, as the basis of intuitiveness.
Measuring success of electronic trading in the insurance industry: operationalising the disconfirmation of expectations paradigm BIBAFull-Text 483-493
  C. Fearon; G. Philip
The paper focuses on the need to develop a measure of information system performance that is usable in a case study setting. A measurement technique is presented based upon interpreting self-assessed rating data in conjunction with interviews from informants within the insurance industry. The operationalisation of the technique builds upon developing work from previous studies and applying the disconfirmations of expectations paradigm in a qualitative setting. A number of conceptual issues are raised relating to the nature of expectations and problems associated with measuring expectation gaps are also discussed. Findings from a self-assessed rating instrument are presented and the measurement technique discussed. Benefit success outcomes are interpreted as measures of realised performance against original expectations. Three benefit success outcomes are defined as: deficiency, where performance falls below expectation; neutrality, where performance meets expectations; and efficiency, where performance exceeds expectations. This surrogate measure of benefit success allows managers the ability to reflect upon overall performance to date. The paper also identifies a number of key lessons for managers in developing successful electronic trading.
A technological acceptance of e-learning tools used in practical and laboratory teaching, according to the European higher education area BIBAFull-Text 495-505
  M. R. Martínez-Torres; S. L. Toral Marín; F. Barrero García; S. Gallardo Vázquez; M. Arias Oliva; T. Torres
The application of scientific tools to analyse the use of Internet-based e-learning tools in academic settings is in general an ignored area. E-learning tools are actually an emergent topic as a result of the new ideas introduced by the European Higher Education Area. Lifelong learning, or the promotion of student initiative, is the new paradigm of a learner-centred education. In this context, e-learning tools can represent an effective way of supporting this new trend in education. Assuming the premise that successful use of these web-based tools depends primarily on a user's behaviour, the objective of this research is to examine the technology acceptance model (TAM) of web-based e-learning tools used in practical and laboratory teaching. The research hypotheses derived from this model have empirically been validated using the responses to a survey on e-learning usage among 220 users. These responses have been examined through partial least square. The obtained results strongly support the extended TAM in predicting a student's intention to use e-learning and define a set of external variables with a significant influence in the original TAM variables. Surprisingly, perceived ease of use did not posit a significant impact on student attitude or intention towards e-learning tool usage. Therefore, early evaluation of e-learning material is considered essential to providing a framework for further improvements of the tool.
Detrimental effects of earphone conversation on auditory environmental monitoring of visually impaired people BIBAFull-Text 507-516
  I. M. Verstijnen; C. M. van Mierlo; P. de Ruijter
In order to investigate the effect of concurrent phoning and auditory environmental monitoring, the performance of visually impaired people was observed on a dual task that consisted of two simulation tasks. Subjects wore either a bone conducting headset, or closed or open (air conduction) earphones. Reaction times and the correctness of responses on both tasks were studied. Contrary to our expectations, correct responding on the simulated environmental monitoring task was severely delayed (irrespective of earphone). In contrast, responding on the cellphone simulation task was as fast under dual as under single task conditions. This research suggests that regardless of the type of earphone used, blind or visually impaired people should be warned against use of a cellphone when they have to simultaneously monitor the environment and respond quickly to it. By showing that concurrency of two auditory tasks may impede performance, this research extends on previous research that showed interference of conversing on visual tasks.