Affective choosing of clustering and categorization representations in e-book interfaces

Publication Date16 May 2016
Date16 May 2016
AuthorKo-Chiu Wu,Tsai-Ying Hsieh
SubjectLibrary & information science,Information behaviour & retrieval
Affective choosing of
clustering and categorization
representations in
e-book interfaces
Ko-Chiu Wu and Tsai-Ying Hsieh
National Taipei University of Technology, Taipei City, Taiwan
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate user experiences with a touch-wall interface
featuring both clustering and categorization representations of available e-books in a public library to
understand human information interactions under work-focused and recreational contexts.
Design/methodology/approach Researchers collected questionnaires from 251 New Taipei City
Library visitors who used the touch-wall interface to search for new titles. The authors applied
structural equation modelling to examine relationships among hedonic/utilitarian needs, clustering and
categorization representations, perceived ease of use (EU) and the extent to which users experienced
anxiety and uncertainty (AU) while interacting with the interface.
Findings Utilitarian users who have an explicit idea of what they intend to find tend to prefer the
categorization interface. A hedonic-oriented user tends to prefer clustering interfaces. Users reported
EU regardless of which interface they engaged with. Results revealed that use of the clustering
interface had a negative correlation with AU. Users that seek to satisfy utilitarian needs tended to
emphasize the importance of perceived EU, whilst pleasure-seeking users were a little more tolerant of
anxiety or uncertainty.
Originality/value The Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) encourages library visitors to
borrow digital books through the implementation of an information visualization system. This
situation poses an opportunity to validate uses and gratification theory. People with hedonic/utilitarian
needs displayed different risk-control attitudes and affected uncertainty using the interface.
Knowledge about user interaction with such interfaces is vital when launching the development of a
new OPAC.
Keywords Information visualization, Information-seeking behaviour, E-book, Affective computing,
Human information interaction, Interface usability
Paper type Research paper
Owingtoadvancesinnetworkaccess and information technology, mass
communication has undergone a transformation from one-way broadcasting to
interactive media channels complete with user feedback. Uses and gratification theory
(UGT) attests that an audience actively chooses the most desired channel from a
variety of media channels, and their affective and cognitive states and behaviours
affect their choices (Katz et al., 1974; Weibull, 1985). UGT uses an audience-centred
approach to illustrate how the users prefer to make decisions about which media
channel they will be exposed to. This illustration encourages researchers to consider
how new approaches and technologies might further affect the information-seeking (IS)
methods of users.
A library is responsible for introducing new reading materials and new editions to
its members. Introductions to books bear a similarity to information recommendations,
which aim to inform the reader regarding library collections and brief accounts of eac h
Aslib Journal of Information
Vol. 68 No. 3, 2016
pp. 265-285
©Emerald Group Publis hing Limited
DOI 10.1108/AJIM-12-2015-0191
Received 4 December 2015
Accepted 8 March 2016
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
Clustering and
publication. In the past, physical books were placed at the entrance of a library to
attract the eyes of visitors. The introduction of a book requires a higher visibility and
reliable recommendations than ordinary information retrievals by keywords via OPAC.
Hence this paper utilizes a vertical touch-wall display for information visualization in
the hopes of increasing the visibility and checkout rate of e-books. This research study,
based on human information interactions (HII) and UGT, attempts to understand the
criteria by which these library members choose a certain media channel. In other
words, we want to explore which framework is preferable when a member is presented
with two knowledge structures, namely, clustering (web based) and categorization
(hierarchical classification), for the selection of recommended e-editions, and what kind
of affective state or perceived ease of use (EU) (cognition) will arise from their IS
Relevant literature
Wilson (1981) proposed that with respect to information needs, classification should not
be the sole factor for consideration; rather, researchers should to pay attention to the
individuals motivation and how the disparity between individuals plays a part in the
process of decision making. OBrien (2011) explained information behaviour has
advanced to focus on the HII between systems and users, to foster models that
encompass user behaviour, cognition and affect, and to comprehend the ways in which
context and tasks motivate information needs and identify IS and use. According to
UGT, users select media channels according to their need for information; therefore,
identifying the specific information need, motivation, or purpose of the user is very
crucial in understanding why the subject chooses a certain channel or interface.
Information needs
Human information behaviour (HIB) models comprise anomalous states of knowledge
(Belkin, 1980), sense-making methodology (Dervin, 2005), information search process
(Kuhlthau, 2004), and the ecological constructivist model (ECM, Nahl, 2009). Within the
ECM model, the role of affect in information acquisition, processing, and use is
underscored (OBrien, 2011). Previous research on the evaluation of interface usability,
such as OPAC, has mainly used a utilitarian approach inorder to meet usersdemand for
accuracy and utilization efficiency (Hornbaek, 2006; Otter and Johnson, 2000). People
have since learned to embrace other interfaces that are designed for pleasure-related
purposes (Agarwal and Venkatesh, 2002; Van der Heijden, 2004). Venkatesh
et al. (2012) proffered that people use technology for utilitarian as well as hedonic
purposes. Li and Mao (2015) explored how users felt about using virtual health
consulting services. Li et al. (2015) also employed the theoryof UGT to develop a hedonic
IS continuance model that features three types of gratification: hedonic gratification,
social gratification, and utilitarian gratification among online game players. Yet there is
still a lack of research examining how library visitors feel about using touch-screen
interfaces for e-books whether operating under utilitarian or hedonic motives.
Searching interfaces: clustering vs categorization
Individuals differences also lead to different IS behaviours among users. Bilal and Kirby
(2002) suggested that adults are better than children at using advanced search
techniques, including hierarchical linear methods or more systematic techniques. Adults
are also adroit at navigating the internet without using too many hyperlinks or

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