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ERIC Number: ED477099
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Jun
Pages: 7
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Introducing a "Means-End" Approach to Human-Computer Interaction: Why Users Choose Particular Web Sites Over Others.
Subramony, Deepak Prem
Gutman's means-end theory, widely used in market research, identifies three levels of abstraction: attributes, consequences, and values--associated with the use of products, representing the process by which physical attributes of products gain personal meaning for users. The primary methodological manifestation of means-end theory is the laddering interview, which is claimed to generate better insights than other qualitative/quantitative methods. This study asks: Can means-end theory, and its concomitant laddering methodology, be successfully applied in the context of human-computer interaction research, specifically to help understand the relationships between Web sites and their users? The study employed laddering interviews to elicit data concerning Web site attributes, their consequences, and user end-values. This data was duly processed and the results were subsequently appraised. Examination determined that means-end chains indeed characterize the process by which physical attributes of Web sites gain personal meaning for their users, thus proving the theory's applicability. Includes two figures. (Contains 12 references.) (Author)
Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), P.O. Box 3728, Norfolk, VA 23514. Tel: 757-623-7588; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A