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Web Site Interactivity & Gratifications Expectations among Users: 

Web Site Interactivity andamp; 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 Uandamp;G basic assumptions andamp; 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 andamp; its various uses Enables comparison Traditional Media Vs New Media


Uandamp;G Assumptions andamp; Criticisms Individuals are active andamp; rational players Using the media in order to obtain gratifications (Katz, Blumler andamp; 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 andamp; Form) Expectations towards Web Sites Functionalities Expectancy Differentiate Sought andamp; Obtained gratification (Palmgreen andamp; Rayburn, 1982) Emphasizing Expectancy Towards 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 andamp; to what extent the interactivity that Web Sites enabled their users is relating to their expectations gratifications? H1 Positive correlation between the level of Web Sites' interactivity andamp; the level of EG’s H2 Significant difference between users' experience level within their level of EG’s along levels of interactivity. H3 Positive correlation between any individual EG to others. [Variables: Socio-Demographic, Usages characteristics andamp; 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 andamp; 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 andamp; Implications Examine Subjective expectations andamp; 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 yariel@com.haifa.ac.il Http://com.haifa.ac.il/~yariel Yaron Ariel University of Haifa



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