Web Site Interactivity& Gratifications Expectations among Users Presented at the AoIR5 Conference University of Sussex, U.K 20, September 2004 Yaron Ariel University of Haifa
Outline • Uses and Gratifications a relevancy approach • U&G basic assumptions & criticisms • Defining Gratification Expectancy • Interactivity • Web sites’ Interactivity • Expectations towards Web sites’ interactivity • Some research evidence • Some implications
Uses and Gratifications - Relevancy • Dominant in Users/Audience studies • Human centered approach • Re-mentioned when new media develops • Electronic Bulletin Board, Pager, Interactive TV, Cellular phone, ICQ • New media & its various uses • Enables comparison • Traditional Media Vs New Media
U&G Assumptions & Criticisms • Individuals are active & rational players • Using the media in order to obtain gratifications (Katz, Blumler & Gurevitch, 1974) Main Criticisms: • Assumption of rationality • Or maybe Habitual, Ritual, Normative? • Humanistic Approach • Goal oriented towards fulfillments and growth? • Functionalism Oriented • Categorization as status quo • Introspective Capabilities • Can they really tell us?
Expectations towards traditional media Genres conventions (Content, Style & Form) Expectations towards Web Sites Functionalities • ExpectancyDifferentiate Sought & Obtained gratification (Palmgreen & Rayburn, 1982) Emphasizing ExpectancyTowards what?
Gratification Expectancy A persons' belief that using a web site can fulfill specific voids in his/her life
Interactivity • Various definitions of Interactivity • Rafaeli’s Definitions of Interactivity(Rafaeli, 1988) • characteristic of communication settings not the medium • emphasizing the interaction between users • Considering levels of interactivity Interactivity - A functionality that facilitates users' expectations? Defining Web sites interactivity
Interactivity operationalized Three identical news-portal ‘look-alike’ web-sites Except - Declarative Interactivity No feature of message transmission. Reactive Interactivity Includes an Electronic Forum within. Full Interactivity Includes a Synchronic chat.
Hypothesis Does & to what extent the interactivity that Web Sites enabled their users is relating to their expectations gratifications? H1 Positive correlation between thelevel of Web Sites' interactivity& thelevel of EG’s H2 Significantdifferencebetween users' experience levelwithin theirlevel of EG’salonglevels of interactivity. H3 Positive correlation between any individual EGto others. [Variables: Socio-Demographic, Usages characteristics & attitude towards internet]
Research Design • Sample of 464 participants • Non representative • Personal codes with web address • Web questionnaire • Simulation • Example of a web site • Likert scale statements • Semantic differential
Results • High gratifications expectations in all three sites • High to low expectancy: • Cognitive, Integrative, Escapist & Emotional • Advanced users Vs Whole Sample • Expectancy ----Web experience • Gratifications Expectancies are highly correlated
More Results • Women have higher GE’s as compared to men • Income, Martial status, Education -no impact • General positive attitude toward the Internet Higher gratification expectancy [Using logistic regression]
Discussions & Implications • Examine Subjective expectations & perception of gratifications. • Study Medium functionalities - rather than studying its conventions • Web user's usages relate characteristics -rather than other personal factors Expectations gratifications are in the beholders eyes
Thanks firstname.lastname@example.org Http://com.haifa.ac.il/~yariel Yaron Ariel University of Haifa
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