University of Twente Student Theses


Feature underuse amongst the digital generation : students' actual usage behaviour with Microsoft Office Word

Botma, J. (2018) Feature underuse amongst the digital generation : students' actual usage behaviour with Microsoft Office Word.

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Abstract:The possibilities of appropriation of modern technologies are endless. Users are able to adapt technology in such a way that it fits in their personal routine and supports their own goals. During this process, users can adapt technologies in an ineffective or inefficient way, by neglecting certain features of the device or application, also labelled feature underuse. This study aims to investigate feature underuse of Microsoft Office Word (2013) amongst the digital generation. To reach this goal, 30 members of the target group were observed during application use to evaluate the causes of feature underuse. The results of this study show that feature underuse is a common behaviour amongst the digital generation, with a variety of causes. It is argued that, through continuous evaluation of the feature’s ability to support personal needs and preferenes, users appropriate application features similar to technologies as a whole. Feature use is therefore strongly dependent on the needs of the user. This study suggests that competency and knowledge are most crucial in predicting feature use. This helps users with making assumptions regarding feature workings. Similarly, recognition of features allows the use of existing mental models with interpretation of the application and enhances feature use. Lastly, the perceived usefulness of a feature’s ability to support behaviour can largely determine actual use of the feature. Based on the determinants of feature underuse, design optimisations have been formulated to better support actual user behaviour.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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