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Understanding Consumers’ Perception of Online Decision Constructs via Eye Tracking

May 12, 2016 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Location: CA110 (SAC Room), Cairnes Building, NUI Galway Galway Ireland

Speaker(s): Dr Anne Torres, Ms Mairead Hogan, Dr Chris Barry

Affiliation: Marketing, BIS, BIS

Organised by: Whitaker Institute

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Previous research indicated certain decision constructs are unclear to users in the business to consumer (B2C) transactional process due to the way in which they are designed. This study explores how consumers are impacted by differently designed opt-out decision constructs, which are often perceived as problematic. Employing a taxonomy of seven mutually exclusive decision constructs in B2C transactional processes, this pilot study examines potentially problematic opt-out decision constructs through a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches. Eye tracking determines the pattern of eye movement, while cued retrospective think aloud (RTA) sessions determine why participant fixates on different parts of the decision construct. The eye tracking data suggest decision constructs using rejection framing generally had longer interactions, longer dwell times and higher fixation counts. It also indicates rejection framing correlates to participants spending more time fixating on the “incorrect” decision button, suggesting the correct course of action was less obvious. The data from the cued RTA reinforced the data from the eye tracking, in addition to revealing a level of distrust towards companies who use the more confusing decision constructs.  While framing appears to be the only dimension to impact dwell times and number of fixations, default value and persuasion impact the users’ attitude towards the company and the liklihood of them availing of the option presented via the decision construct. The findings from this pilot study will aid website designers to create less ambiguous decision constructs in transactions. A key contribution of the research is the use of eye tracking and usability instruments to assess questionable design choices in website design.

This seminar is one of a series of seminars in the 2016 Whitaker Ideas Forum.  The speakers will be representing the Performance Management Research Cluster.