Does Sociability Make A Difference? The Effect of HCI and CMC Interactivity on User Engagement and Web Attitude
Yan Huang (Graduate Student)
Dr. S. Shyam Sundar
The growth of sophisticated interactive website features has placed interactivity on a priority research agenda across disciplines. There are two dimensions of interactivity: Human computer interaction (HCI) and computer-mediated communication (CMC). From the cue-effects perspective, the research examines the different effects of HCI and CMC interactivity on user engagement and web attitudes, and the role of sociability and gender. Ninety-nine undergraduate students participated in a lab experiment using designed (MovieHulix) web stimuli with four interactivity conditions.
RESEARCH QUESTION / HYPOTHESES:
RQ1: For internet users, controlling for gender and sociability, what is the relationship between types of interactivity and level of perceived interactivity/user engagement/ user attitude?
In order to answer our research question and test our hypotheses, we conducted a 2 (absence vs. presence of HCI) × 2 (absence vs. presence of CMC) between-subjects experiment, wherein each participant was randomly assigned to one of the four conditions (place Figures 2-5 here) and exposed to one web page pertaining to six newly released movies in different formats. Participant ages ranged from 18-45, average age 22.3. The sample was mostly Caucasian students a total of 54 males and 45 females.
In sum, we found that perceived interactivity is highly related to appearance of comment function instead of appearance of hyperlinks. Participants perceived higher levels of interactivity when they were exposed to comment function, but our results failed to show the effects of hyperlinks.
Further, we concluded that gender and sociability are two important moderators in the relationship between interactivity and user engagement and their attitudes toward the website.
The goal of this study was to explore the relationship between interactivity, perceived interactivity, and user attitude/engagement. The results of this research present the opportunity for several theoretical and practical implications. First of which, this research contributes to existing scholarship by examining sociability as a moderator for the aforementioned variables. This study lends support to the existing data that indicate gender differences in attitudes toward interactive technological features. The results of this study have practical implication for web designers to consider gender and extraversion levels of target audiences in order to ensure optimal user experience. Future research should expound upon the limitations of this study and continue to consider personal characteristics as a moderator for interactivity on perceived interactivity, engagement, and web attitude.
For more details regarding the study contact
Dr. S. Shyam Sundar by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at (814) 865-2173