The effect of interface design on e -commerce web sites for product information learning and search performance
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The e-commerce environment is emerging as a critical factor in a firm's success. Different web interface designs may determine whether firms keep or lose their customers. Web site design should allow customers to navigate and search product information naturally and with minimal cognitive effort. This study will suggest a cognitive process model of human users in transacting with the web site interface; it also will examine the effect of information search guidance in a web site on the understanding of the product and the acceptance of the Web information system. Declarative knowledge and production knowledge of a unified cognitive learning model will be investigated to explain how information is gained through web site navigation. Information search guidance in a web site will be objective web site characteristics (i.e., breadth and depth of hypertext structure), as well as subjectively perceived evaluation of the web site interface design. The current study also will investigate the effect of Web navigation experience on a user's attitudes and beliefs (i.e., self-efficacy, task support satisfaction, and interface satisfaction). The result of Partial Least Square (PLS) and Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) analyses shows that declarative knowledge of the product is not significantly related to antecedent variables of web site interface attributes, nor to the dependent variables. Procedural knowledge, however, presents strong associations with interface design and web site system satisfaction and self-efficacy. Discussion about the results and conclusions is provided.