Essential Expectations of Users of Web Configurators: An Empirical Survey

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Web configurators are increasingly used to support mass customisation of all sorts of products and services. As these business-critical applications become more and more widespread, users with different profiles and expectations, as well as increasingly complex products and services, have to be addressed during the configurator's design process.

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. This paper is the first to perform an in-depth study of the user's perspective on configurators. It identifies the users' favourite perceived values and qualities as well as the undesired defects of configurators. It also ranks these items by order of importance and investigates which characteristics of configurators influence, positively or negatively, the perceived values.

To achieve this, a questionnaire-based survey was performed. Users were asked to answer detailed questions about their perceptions of configurators and influencing characteristics. The responses shows that the validity of the customised product and its adequacy in matching user's needs and preferences are the most desired perceived values. The study also identifies usability and product visualisation as the favourite qualities. Consequently, their absence, in addition to the absence of configuration progress and state indicator, are the worst defects. These and other observations detailed in the paper are a first step towards the systematic definition of guidelines for optimizing user experience in Web configurators.
Original languageEnglish
Article number165
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
JournalACM Proceedings on Human-Computer Interaction
Issue numberEICS
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2022


  • configuration systems
  • perceived values
  • web configurator


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