Usability of Online Services: The Role of Technology Readiness and Context
2007, Decision Sciences
Anne Massey, Vijay Khatri, Mitzi M. Montoya-Weiss
An important prerequisite for the success of any online service is ensuring that customers' experience—via the interface—satisfies both sensory and functional needs. Developing interfaces that are responsive to customers' needs requires a perspective on interface design as well as a deep understanding of the customers themselves. Drawing upon research in consumer behavior concerning consumer beliefs about technology, we deploy an alternative way to describe customers based on psychographic characteristics. Technology readiness (TR), a multidimensional psychographic construct, offers a way to segment online customers based upon underlying positive and negative technology beliefs. The core premise of this study is that the beliefs form the foundation for expectations of how things should work and how specific online service interfaces are evaluated by customers. At the same time, usability evaluations of specific online services might be contingent on contextual factors, specifically the type of site (hedonic vs. utilitarian) and access method (Web vs. wireless Web). The aspects of usability examined here are those incorporated into the usability metric and instrument based on the Microsoft Usability Guidelines (MUG). The results of an empirical study with 160 participants indicate that (i) TR customer segments vary in usability requirements and (ii) usability evaluations of specific online service interfaces are influenced by complex interactions among site type, access method, and TR segment membership. As organizations continue to expand their online service offerings, managers must recognize that the interface exists to serve the customers, so their design must be matched to market needs and TR.
Massey, Anne, Vijay Khatri, and Mitzi M. Montoya-Weiss (2007), “Usability of Online Services: The Role of Technology Readiness and Context,” Decision Sciences, Vol. 38, No. 2, pp. 277-308.
Nominated for the best paper award by Decision Sciences Journal, 2007