Harder and Smoother on Touchscreens? How Interaction Mode Affects Consumer Product Judgment 

Liu, Yang
Jiang, Zhenhui
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Emerging technologies, such as touchscreen interaction and mid-air gesture-based interaction, are changing the ways we interact with products virtually. However, despite research on how these technologies can be leveraged to improve consumers’ shopping experience, few studies have explored how they affect consumer product judgment. This study explores how two types of gesture-based human-device interaction modes (i.e., touchscreen interaction and mid-air interaction) influence consumers’ judgment on product haptic attributes (i.e., softness and roughness). Results from a lab experiment reveal that interacting with a product via touchscreen, as compared via a mid-air gesture controller, leads to a lower perception of product softness and roughness. Furthermore, such effects are more salient among users with a higher level of need for touch. The results imply that people may mistakenly use the incidental haptic experience gained from interaction device (e.g., the solid and smooth haptic experience a user feels when interacting with touchscreen surface) in product judgment although such experience is not directly related to the product being evaluated. Theoretical contributions, practical implications, and future research are discussed.
Human-Computer Interaction in the Digital Economy, gesture-based interaction, haptic perception, m-commerce, mobile interaction, product judgment
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