|Trust thy e-retailer
This research deals with consumer attitudes and behavior in
Internet-based shopping. The model examines both the antecedents and the
consequences of consumer trust in a Web merchant. The model was tested and
validated in various countries (e.g., Australia, Israel and Finland) as well
as under different conditions (e.g., real-life and controlled environments).
Ongoing research is under way to characterize the nature of human-computer
interaction in this new form of commerce.
More research on consumer attitudes and behavior in Internet-based shopping.
What aspects of web-based stores influence consumers' choice of where to buy?
Well, it depends ...
| Chartjunk or Goldgraph?
A recent research dealt with how people present information to others.
Most research on information presentation is based on the rational approach to
display design. This approach assumes that the quality of displays is determined
by their relative efficacy to provide the relevant information for the viewer,
as assessed through variables such as response time, accuracy, or decision quality.
However, presentations often are intended to convince viewers and create desired
impressions. These considerations may lead to the choice of displays that differ
from those prescribed by the rational approach. We conducted a series of experiments
that demonstrated the importance of understanding the social context within which
people present information.
| What is beautiful is usable
The tension between form and function has long been at the crossroad of artifact
design. Whereas emphasis on function stresses the importance of the artifact's
usability and usefulness, accentuating the artifact's form serves more the
aesthetic and social needs of designers and customers. Perhaps in a backlash
to recent tendencies by the computer industry to oversell glitz and fashion
in its products or because of its origins in disciplines that emphasize efficiency,
the field of HCI appears to stress the prominence of usability over aesthetics.
We are conducting a series of empirical studies to assess the relative importance
of aesthetics in HCI design. Initial findings support the importance of aesthetics
in shaping people's initial perceptions of, and attitudes towards, computer systems.
| The social dimension of Web retailing
This project deals with the social aspects of user interfaces. My colleague
V.S. Rao and I have recently completed a conceptual paper regarding the relevance
of this issue for the design of Web-based stores. The paper examines how B2C relations
can be improved if the design of Web-based stores took into account the social
dimensions of traditional buying and selling behavior. We are now planning to
empirically test some of the propositions that were raised in this paper. Among
other things, we plan to test whether these issues are culturally dependent or
whether they are invariant across different cultures.
| Time is in the eye of the beholder
This projects is aimed at finding design solutions that will reduce users'
perceptions of the time it took them to complete their interactions with
computerized systems. In some respect we are looking for design solutions
that are the equivalent of designs of waiting lines in places such as airport
baggage claims, Disneyland's shows, etc. In such places waiting is both necessary
and of unknown a priori length, which often annoys clients. To alleviate this
problem, those organizations try to reduce, by various means people's perceptions
of the amount of time required to accomplish the task. Similarly, studies have
shown that long and variables delays of computerized systems reduce users'
satisfaction and performance. While this used to be a major issue in the age of
the time-sharing mainframes, it has been resolved by the introduction of desktop
computers and high-speed local networks. Yet, the advance of the Internet has
paradoxically re-created the problem. That is, people browsing the Internet are
now susceptible to long and variable system delays. The research question we are
trying to address in this project is: Given that completing a task by interacting
with a computer takes a certain amount of time, is it possible that different
designs of the interaction will make users perceive that time as shorter or
longer? An abstract of our study is provided below.
| The stove and the problem of controlling 3D displays
Many computer systems' output is displayed today (and obviously in the future)
in 3D form. However, most of today's (and many of tomorrow's) input devices are
based on 2D movement (e.g., mouse, keyboard, touch screens, pens, etc.). This
discrepancy sometimes creates difficulty in mapping 2D actual actions to represent
manipulations of objects that are embedded in a 3D representational world.
This problem is further exacerbated by the fact that the 3D representations
are artificial (that, is, they are not actually three-dimensional). To some
extent, this is an extension of the well-known ergonomic design problem of
mapping stove controls (which are usually arranged unidimensionally, e.g., all
controls in one horizontal line) to the stove's burners (which are usually
arranged in a two-dimensional array, e.g., the stove's depth and width). The
3D to 2D mapping problem includes important questions about the design of
interaction styles of such systems. For example, is there a common pattern of
associating certain controls with certain objects? Which objects and controls
are the first ones to be used by users? Is there a difference in the mapping
pattern if an object is selected first vs. if a control is selected first? Are
these preferences culturally dependent (e.g., comparing preferences of users
from left-to-right cultures vs. right-to-left cultures vs. top-to-bottom cultures)?
| Design patterns in Web sites
This might be a long story. Anyway, here's some