Attractiveness of smartphone applications: First impression vs. Anticipated use vs. Actual use : Based on pragmatic and hedonic qualities

Achaiber Sing, R.A.D. (2014) Attractiveness of smartphone applications: First impression vs. Anticipated use vs. Actual use : Based on pragmatic and hedonic qualities.

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Abstract:Purpose ~ With the emergence of smartphone applications and the continuous growth of the number of applications, it is important to gain knowledge about the encountered user experience of smartphone applications. According the ISO standard 9241-210 a user experience is a user’s perception that is an effect from the anticipated use or use of a product (ISO/DIS, 2009). The present study investigated to what extent the user experience, measured as the attractiveness (e.g. pleasant and good), of a smartphone app is influenced by pragmatic qualities (e.g. usability and functionality), hedonic qualities identification and stimulation (e.g. creative and inventive) and personal factors of the user (e.g. behavioural intention, subjective norm and self efficacy) during a first impression, anticipated use and the actual use. It is further assumed that the effects are moderated by the type of app (entertainment and information). To research the influence on the attractiveness of smartphone apps, the instrument of Hassenzahl (2003) has been used for this study. Design ~ A three-staged experiment (n=101) was conducted with the help of a face to face questionnaire showing screenshots of the two entertainment apps (Logo quiz and Song quiz) and the two information apps (TechCrunch and The Verge), in the first impression stage. In this stage the users could name five words that described their first impression of the shown apps and 82 participants were not familiar with the apps. In the anticipated use stage, the instrument of Hassenzahl (2003) was used to measure the attractiveness of the app (n=97) along with the personal factor, behavioural intention to download the app. In the actual use stage (n=97), the instrument of Hassenzahl (2003) was used again, this time to measure the attractiveness of the app based on the actual use. The personal factors, behavioural intention to keep using the app, smartphone self-efficacy, subjective norm and the expertise from the respondents with smartphone apps was measured as well. Findings ~ The study showed that entertainment apps are perceived as more attractive compared to the information apps in the first impression stage. The exploratory factor analyses showed that the instrument of Hassenzahl (2003) should be a three factor instrument for smartphone studies instead of a four factor instrument, because 93% of the items loaded on three factors instead of four. The factor hedonic quality identification loaded in the same factor as attractiveness in the actual use stage. The factor analyses also showed that even though user experience of a product is a result from the use or anticipated use of the product, the instrument of Hassenzahl (2003) only measures the actual use of a smartphone app and the anticipated use. This is because of the complex and incoherent loadings in the anticipated use stage. Paired sample t-tests were used to compare the difference between the perceived anticipated use and perceived actual use of the apps. The results showed that pragmatic qualities became more positive in the actual use stage compared to the anticipated use stage, as well as hedonic quality identification and attractiveness. Hedonic quality stimulation became less positive in the actual use stage compared to the anticipated use stage, meaning that participants were stimulated less to use the app compared to the anticipated use stage. A stepwise multiple linear regression was used to find out the significant effect the variables pragmatic and hedonic qualities and personal factors had on the attractiveness of the apps, moderated by the type of app. The results showed that the moderator had no causal effect on the linear relation between the variables and the attractiveness. In the anticipated use stage 53% of the variance is explained by the variables of the attractiveness. And in the actual use stage 83%, which is remarkable high, of the variance is explained by the variables of the attractiveness. This result shows that the actual use of the app amplifies the perceived user experience of the respondent. It can therefore be said again that the instrument of Hassenzahl (2003) measures the user experience when actual usage of a product occurs. Another result of this study is that none of the personal factors, behavioural intention, smartphone self-efficacy and subjective norm had significant influences on the perceived attractiveness of the app. Hedonic quality stimulation, hedonic quality identification and attractiveness did not always have a significant effect on the attractiveness of an individual app in the actual use stage compared to the anticipated use stage. A reason for this could be, because of the small sample size of each of the individual apps (n=22-24). Originality/value ~ There are only a few studies about the user experience of smartphone apps available and this study is among the first to scientifically assess to what extent hedonic and pragmatic qualities influence the user experience of smartphone apps. From a theoretical standpoint, this study extends knowledge on the user experience of smartphone apps.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/64727
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