Incidental Memory and Navigation in Panoramic Virtual Reality for Electronic Commerce

By Howes, Andrew; Miles, Gareth E. et al. | Human Factors, Summer 2001 | Go to article overview

Incidental Memory and Navigation in Panoramic Virtual Reality for Electronic Commerce


Howes, Andrew, Miles, Gareth E., Payne, Stephen J., Mitchell, Christabel D., Davies, Anthony J., Human Factors


Recently much effort has been dedicated to designing and implementing World Wide Web sites for virtual shopping and e-commerce. Despite this effort, relatively little empirical work has been done to determine the effectiveness with which different site designs sell products. We report three experiments in which participants were asked to search for products in various experimental e-commerce sites. Across the experiments participants were asked to search in either QTVR (QuickTime Virtual Reality), hypertext, or pictorially rich hypertext environments; they were then tested for their ability to recall the products seen and to recognize product locations. The experiments demonstrated that when using QTVR (Experiments 1, 2, and 3) or pictorial environments (Experiment 2), participants retained more information about products that were incidental to their goals. In two of the experiments it was shown that participants navigated more efficiently when using a QTVR environment. The costs and benefits of using 3D vir tual environments for on-line shops are discussed. Actual or potential applications of this research include support for the development of e-commerce design guidelines.

INTRODUCTION

There is much interest in the issue of how to design computer applications to support the tasks of finding and selecting consumer products (Guttman, Moukas, & Maes, 1998). This interest has been driven by the perceived potential impact of on-line electronic commerce (e-commerce) on the consumer market. However, although much effort has been dedicated to designing and implementing new systems for representing shopping sites and products, relatively little empirical work has been aimed at determining the psychological consequences of these systems. Without a more comprehensive understanding of the properties of the representations used in e-commerce, little can be predicted about their effectiveness as media for selling products. An issue of particular interest concerns the consequences on navigation and memory of the use of virtual reality representations that model the structure of a physical commercial environment.

Current virtual reality sites are based on a range of technologies. Two that illustrate the diversity of these technologies are the Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) and QuickTime Virtual Reality (QTVR). They use either polygon-rendered virtual environments (VRML) or networks of interlinked photo-panoramic scenes (QTVR). Both use a nonimmersive 2D display to give the user the visual impression of moving through a 3D space (cf., systems for stereopsis, Thimbleby, 1997). These technologies appear to offer a means of constructing compelling and easy-to-use e-commerce environments. Moreover, it might be argued that people will make more use of on-line commercial sites if these sites enable a style of interaction that builds on that experienced in real-world shops.

Wann and MonWilliams (1996) however, warned against assuming that virtual reality representations will be suitable for all tasks. Guttman et al. (1998) claimed that the best systems for e-commerce are those that make most use of the strength of computers as tools for retrieving sets of products that match specified criteria. Indeed, there are no magic bullets in human-computer interaction; representations need to be carefully selected to fit the particular task characteristics. In e-commerce a range of representations is emerging to support different aspects of the commercial process. Miles, Howes, and Davies (2000) reviewed a number of these representations. For example, systems have been designed to support auction-style negotiation of price and product comparison. There are also electronic sales assistants, which attempt to guide customers through the decision-making process. Sites based on virtual reality technologies form only a small proportion of the currently available sites.

For what reasons, then, might we believe that virtual reality representations could be beneficial for e-commerce? …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Incidental Memory and Navigation in Panoramic Virtual Reality for Electronic Commerce
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.