The conventional wisdom in web design literature is that an online shopping website should be free of distracting features; such as animated banners, pop-ups and floating advertisements, as they cause annoyance and disrupt the process of pre-purchase evaluation, leading to poorer purchase decisions. Yet, the recently formulated Unconscious Thought Theory (UTT) suggests that the use of these features can lead to better purchase decisions in certain contexts. To resolve this conflict, an experiment was conducted to validate the propositions of the UTT in the context of online shopping. The results from the experiment indicate that: (1) distracting website features lead to better purchase decisions when the decision to be made is complex, (2) distracting website features give rise to annoyance, and (3) the positive effect of better decision quality as a result of using distracting features is able to mitigate the negative effect of annoyance on online consumer satisfaction.
Tan, Barney C.C.; Yi, Cheng; and Chan, Hock C., "Beyond Annoyance: The Latent Benefits of Distracting Website Features" (2008). ICIS 2008 Proceedings. 188.