Do product configurators comply with HCI guidelines? A preliminary study

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

While past research on product configuration has focused on knowledge representation and automated reasoning, researchers have paid less attention to the design and evaluation of user experience (UX). For product configurators like for other interactive applications, UX is of paramount importance. This is all the more true since configurators are often primary points of contact between a merchant and its customers, and business-critical assets meant to maximize sales.
Over the years, the HCI (Human-Computer Interaction) community has defined standard guidelines for interactive applications. Yet, previous studies suggested that in practice product configurators of- ten differ from such guidelines. In this preliminary study, we address two main research questions: (1) To what extent do existing configurators deviate from HCI guidelines? (2) Why do those deviations appear?
We first present a synthesis of the main well-established guidelines from the HCI community. We complement these observations with an analysis of the literature to collect more HCI issues and to better understand their origins. Then, we proceed to studying a sample of 50 real-world configurators to observe whether, and to which extent, they comply with the HCI guidelines. We then conclude the paper with directions for future research, emphasizing HCI challenges that are specific to configurators.
This study is part of a broader PhD project which ultimate goal is to define a set of guidelines specifically intended to optimize the UX of sales configurators.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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