The Usefulness of Multi-Sensor Affect Detection on User Experience: An Application of Biometric Measurement Systems on Online Purchasing
Traditional usability methods in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) have been extensively used to understand the usability of products. Measurements of user experience (UX) in traditional HCI studies mostly rely on task performance and observable user interactions with the product or services, such as usability tests, contextual inquiry, and subjective self-report data, including questionnaires, interviews, and usability tests. However, these studies fail to directly reflect a user’s psychological involvement and further fail to explain the cognitive processing and the related emotional arousal. Thus, capturing how users think and feel when they are using a product remains a vital challenge of user experience evaluation studies. Conversely, recent research has revealed that sensor-based affect detection technologies, such as eye tracking, electroencephalography (EEG), galvanic skin response (GSR), and facial expression analysis, effectively capture affective states and physiological responses. These methods are efficient indicators of cognitive involvement and emotional arousal and constitute effective strategies for a comprehensive measurement of UX. The literature review shows that the impacts of sensor-based affect detection systems to the UX can be categorized in two groups: (1) confirmatory to validate the results obtained from the traditional usability methods in UX evaluations; and (2) complementary to enhance the findings or provide more precise and valid evidence. Both provided comprehensive findings to uncover the issues related to mental and physiological pathways to enhance the design of product and services. Therefore, this dissertation claims that it can be efficient to integrate sensor-based affect detection technologies to solve the current gaps or weaknesses of traditional usability methods. The dissertation revealed that the multi-sensor-based UX evaluation approach through biometrics tools and software corroborated user experience identified by traditional UX methods during an online purchasing task. The use these systems enhanced the findings and provided more precise and valid evidence to predict the consumer purchasing preferences. Thus, their impact was “complementary” on overall UX evaluation. The dissertation also provided information of the unique contributions of each tool and recommended some ways user experience researchers can combine both sensor-based and traditional UX approaches to explain consumer purchasing preferences.