Organizations invest heavily in developing and maintaining websites to meet various transactional (e.g., online purchases) and non-transactional (e.g., influencing brand attitude and disseminating product information organizational goals. In considering non-transactional outcomes—specifically brand attitude formation and information dissemination—one finds that two literature streams emerge, although they present different recommendations. First, cognitive attitude formation research recommends designing interfaces to promote an efficient experience that takes less time and requires less movement among webpages. On the other hand, the mere exposure literature recommends that longer durations and more exposure to related ideas should improve non-transactional outcomes. To understand the relationship between these two perspectives, we tested related hypotheses in a within-subjects observational experiment with a follow-up survey 10 days later. Building on theory regarding task characteristics, we also included goal-directedness as a hypothesized moderating variable. We found that more time spent on a website was associated with greater brand attitude improvement and product knowledge retention, but that more webpage views was associated with reduced product knowledge. In addition, the task type influenced the relationships between webpages viewed and brand attitude and between time spent and product knowledge retention.
Jensen, M. L.,
Galletta, D. F.,
Lowry, P. B.
Efficiency and Exposure: Reconciling the Effects of Website Browsing Behaviors for Non-transactional Outcomes.
AIS Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction, 13(2), 206-242.
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