Advertisement

Does Branding Need Web Usability? A Value-Oriented Empirical Study

  • Davide Bolchini
  • Franca Garzotto
  • Fabio Sorce
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5727)

Abstract

Does usability of a web-based communication artifact affect brand, i.e., the set of beliefs, emotions, attitudes, or qualities that people mentally associate to the entity behind that artifact? Intuitively, the answer is “yes”: usability is a fundamental aspect of the quality of the experience with a website, and a “good” experience with a “product” or its reifications tends to translate into “good” brand perception. To date, however, the existence of a connection between web usability and brand perception is shown through anecdotic arguments, and is not supported by published systematic research. This paper discusses a study that empirically investigates this correlation in a more rigorous, analytical, and replicable way. Our main contribution is twofold: on the one hand, we provide empirical evidence to the heuristic principle that web usability influences branding, and we do that through four between subjects controlled experiments that involved 120 subjects. On the other hand, we inform the study with a systematic value-oriented approach to the user experience, and thus provide a conceptual framework that can be reused in other experimental settings, either for replicating our study, or for designing similar studies focusing on the correlation of web branding vs. design factors other than usability.

Keywords

brand usability value-centered approach web application communication goal empirical study inspection 

References

  1. 1.
    Alben, L.: Quality of Experience. Interactions 13(5), 12–15 (1996)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Baty, S.: Brand Experience in User Experience Design, http://www.uxmatters.com
  3. 3.
    Bolchini, D., Garzotto, F., Paolini, P.: Branding and Communication Goals for Content-Intensive Interactive Applications. In: Proceedings of 15th IEEE International Conference on Requirements Engineering, New Dehli (India), pp. 173–182. IEEE Press, Los Alamitos (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bolchini, D., Garzotto, F., Paolini, P.: Value-Driven Design for “Infosuasive” Web Applications. In: Proceedings of 17th International World Wide Web Conference – WWW 2008, Beijing, China (2008)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bolchini, D., Garzotto, F.: Quality and Potential for Adoption of Web Usability Evaluation Methods: An Empirical Study on MILE+. Journal of Web Engineering 7(4), 299–317 (2008)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Costabile, F., Garzotto, F., Matera, M., Paolini, P.: The SUE Inspection: A Systematic and Effective Method for Usability Evaluation of Hypermedia. IEEE Trans. on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part A 32(1), 93–103 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cockton, G.: A Development Framework for Value-Centered Design. In: Proc. CHI 2003, pp. 1292–1295. ACM Press, New York (2003)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Cockton, G.: From quality in use to value in the world. In: CHI 2004 Extended Abstracts. ACM Press, New York (2004)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    De Angeli, A., Sutcliffe, A., Hartmann, J.: Interaction, usability and aesthetics: what influences users’ preferences? In: Proc. 6th Conf. on Designing Interactive Systems, pp. 271–280. ACM Press, New York (2006)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    De Angeli, A., Lynch, P., Johnson, G.I.: Pleasure versus efficiency in user interfaces: Towards an involvement framework. In: Green, W.S., Jordan, P.W. (eds.) Pleasure with products: Beyond usability, pp. 97–111. Taylor & Francis, Abington (2002)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Fogg, J.B., Soohoo, C., Danielson, D.R., Marable, L., Stanford, J., Tauber, E.R.: How do users evaluate the credibility of Web sites? A study with over 2,500 participants. In: Proc. Designing For User Experiences 2003, pp. 1–15. ACM Press, New York (2003)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Fogg, B.J., et al.: What Makes Web Sites Credible? A Report on a Large Quantitative Study. In: Proc. CHI 2001, pp. 61–68. ACM Press, New York (2001)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Fogg, B.J.: Persuasive Technology. Morgan Kaufmann, San Francisco (2003)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Friedman, B., Kahn, P.H.: Human values, ethics, and design. In: Jacko, J.A., Sears, A. (eds.) The human computer interaction handbook. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah (2003)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Friedman, B., Kahn, P.H., Howe Jr., D.C.: Trust online. Comm. of the ACM 43(12), 34–40 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Gerstman, R. (ed.): Branding@thedigitalage. Palgrave (2001)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Gilbert, A.C., Iacobucci, D.: Marketing Research: Methodological Foundations, 9th edn. Thomson South-Western Publishers (2005)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Gobé, M.: Emotional Branding. Allworth Press (2001)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Gordijn, J., Yu, E., Raadt, B.: E-Service Design Using i* and e3value Modeling. IEEE Software 23(5), 26–33 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Greenberg, S., Buxton, B.: Usability Evaluation Considered Harmful (Some of the Time). In: Proc. CHI 2008, pp. 111–120. ACM Press, New York (2008)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Hartmann, J., Sutcliffe, A., De Angeli, A.: Investigating attractiveness in web user interfaces. In: Proc. CHI 2007, pp. 387–396. ACM Press, New York (2007)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Hassenzahl, M.: The interplay of beauty, goodness and usability in interactive products. Human-Computer Interaction 19(4), 319–349 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Jokela, T.: When good things happen to bad products: where are the benefits of usability in the consumer appliance market? Interactions 11(6), 28–35 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Keinonen, T.: One-dimensional usability - Influence of usability on consumers’ product preference. University of Art and Design Helsinki, - doctoral dissertation (1998)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Kim, J., Lee, J., Choi, D.: Designing Emotionally Evocative Homepages: An Empirical Study of the Quantitative Relations Between Design Factors and Emotional Dimensions. Int. J. of Human-Computer Studies 59(6), 899–940 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Knemeyer, D.: Brand Experience and the Web. Digital Web Magazine, http://www.digital-web.com/articles/brand_experience_and_the_web/
  27. 27.
    Lavie, T., Tractinsky, N.: Assessing dimensions of perceived visual aesthetics of websites. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 60(3), 269–298 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Marcus, A.: Branding 101. Interactions 11(5), 14–21 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    McNamara, N., Kirakowski, J.: Defining Usability: Quality of Use or Quality of Experience? In: Proc. 2005 IEEE Int. Professional Communication Conf., pp. 200–2004. IEEE Press, Los Alamitos (2005)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Muller, B., Chandon, J.L.: The Impact of Visiting a Brand Website on Brand Personality. Electronic Markets 13(3), 210–221 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Nolan, K.: Europe Brand Perception: Nokia Dominates for Loyalty and Aspiration. Strategic Analytics Report Overview, http://www.strategyanalytics.com/
  32. 32.
    Norman, D.A.: Emotional Design. Basic Books (2004)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Park, S., Harada, A., Igarashi, H.: Influences of Product Preferences on Product Usability. In: Proc. CHI 2006, pp. 87–92. ACM Press, New York (2006)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Rondeau, D.: For Mobile Applications, Branding is Experience. Comm. of the ACM 48(7), 61–66 (2005)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Sealey, P.: How E-commerce Will Trump Brand Management. Harvard Business Review 68(4) (1999)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Sinha, I.: Cost Transparency: The Net’s Real Threat to Prices and Brands. Harvard Business Review 78(2), 43–50 (2000)Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Spool, J.: Determining How Design Affects Branding, http://www.uie.com/articles/design_and_branding/
  38. 38.
    Spool, J.M.: Branding and usability, http://www.uie.com/articles/branding_usability/
  39. 39.
    Tractinsky, N.: Aesthetics and apparent usability: Empirically assessing cultural and methodological issues. In: CHI 1997 Electronic Publications. ACM, New York (1997), http://sigchi.org/chi97/proceedings/paper/nt.htm Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Tractinsky, N., Shoval-Katz, A., Ikar, D.: What is beautiful is usable. Interacting with Computers 13(2), 127–145 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Wheeler, A.: Brand Identity: A Complete Guide to Creating, Building, and Maintaining Strong Brands. Wiley, Chichester (2006)Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Young & Rubricam Consulting. Brand Asset Evaluator Survey, http://www.12manage.com/methods_brand_asset_valuator.html
  43. 43.
    Bolchini, D., Garzotto, F.: Design Requirements for Communication-Intensive Interactive Applications. In: Lyttinen, C., Loucopoulos, P., Mylopoulos, J., Robinson, W. (eds.) Design Requirements Engineering: A Ten-Year Perspective, February 2009. Lecture Notes Series in Business Information Processing, pp. 408–431. Springer, Heidelberg (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Davide Bolchini
    • 1
  • Franca Garzotto
    • 2
  • Fabio Sorce
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Informatics (IUPUI)Indiana UniversityIndianapolisU.S.A.
  2. 2.HOC Lab – Department of Electronics and InformationPolitecnico di MilanoMilanoItaly

Personalised recommendations