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Title: Investigating website usability and behavioural intention for online hotel reservations : a cognitive perspective
Author: Drousiotou, Vryona
ISNI:       0000 0004 5364 2955
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2014
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The problem area identified for this research is to define the cognitive factors and Customers’ Critical Information Requirements (CCIRs) that affect the customer decision making process when they book their hotel reservations online. The purpose of this study is to define the CCIRs and the (re)design specifications of the website which will be noticed by the users through to completing the booking, without losing them during the decision making process. A combination of various cognitive analysis and eyetracking techniques were applied in order to understand in real time the customer’s decision making process during their online hotel booking process. This includes methods that identify user’s online previous and present experiences, methods that assess and result in the specification of usability and (re)design guidelines. Techniques for eliciting CCIRs in real time are facilitated through the simultaneous usage of eye tracking technology, think aloud expression and video recording. Finally, a validation study was conducted in order to confirm the research findings. A key outcome of this research is a novel, robust and precision approach that (i) combines cognitive task analysis, eye tracking techniques, statistical and clustering methods in order to facilitate the precise identification of both explicit and tacit CCIRs; (ii) for the first time provides a time frame analysis of CCIRs across each stage of the customer’s decision making process and identifies the concomitant decision points where the customer is most likely to abandon the web site; (iii) elicits the mental model of the customer together with the CCIRs and uses this knowledge as the basis for generating the re-design specification for the website; and, (iv) evaluates whether there is a significant improvement in the usability and cognitive utility of the redesigned website that is of practical value to hotels. A further theoretical contribution is the “CCIRs informed decision making process model” for the (re)design of hotel websites as a result of applying our novel and innovative approach. Moreover, I have demonstrated for the first time how our approach can be applied to theory building of CCIRs-based cognitive task models that explicitly define the customer’s decision making process. The above mentioned methodology and theoretical outputs of this research are generally applicable to other industry sectors beyond the hotel industry. For example, financial trading decision support systems, air traffic control displays, mobile phone apps, i.e. to name a few from the myriad of possible applications.
Supervisor: Louvieris, P. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available