On Saturday April the 4th, I have presented this research framework (pdf) at the 3rd Student Conference on Business Research (SCBR 2009) organized by HEC Montreal.
It extends the notion of feature fatigue to usability – that is when too many features add up to complexity – and it explores how the presence of affective quality features might compensate for such complexity.
I am not ashamed to say that I won the ‘Best paper‘ award in the marketing category at the SCBR 2009 for this paper!
Here is the paper’s abstract:
“The more the better” goes as a saying. Resorting to this quantity heuristic, consumers tend to decide on products which present more features than less, forgetting that features quantity comes with product complexity and less satisfaction in its use. In this paper we extend the construct of feature fatigue (Thompson, Hamilton and Rust, 2005), which derives from the cognitive complexity of a product with too many features, to Web sites usability. So far, previous research has investigated the impact of Web site quality as a key determinant to online success focusing on what makes a site “better than another” in general or for some type of industries. It has identified a large number of factors that have been found to influence the online experience satisfaction such as visual design, quality and quantity of information, personalization and last but not least: usability. Based on a literature review in marketing and human-computer interaction about affect and its interplay with cognition, we develop a model that link the affective dimension of a product and features quantity to satisfaction. The model is suggesting that perceived ease of use mediates the combined effect of the affective dimension and features quantity. We propose to test whether a task-related set of features would positively impact satisfaction via perceived ease of use when the features possess an affective quality, and if it would hold true even in a perceived case of complexity. In the proposed research framework, we would test whether a task-related set of features would positively impact satisfaction via perceived ease of use when the features possess an affective quality, and if it would hold true even in a perceived case of complexity. Hence, the purpose of this conceptual paper is to contribute to the field of electronic service quality product evaluation by incorporating both the affective and cognitive dimensions of evaluation in a single research model that could be empirically tested in the very specific context of a goal-oriented task and its related set of functionalities.