Evaluation of agents and study of end-user needs and behaviour for e-commerce. COGITO focus group experiment

V. Andersen, C.B. Hansen, H.H.K. Andersen

    Research output: Book/ReportReport

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    The process of buying products and services on the Internet often implies a high degree of complexity and uncertainty about the conditions of information seeking, about items for sale, the purchase of wanted products and the actual navigation on a site. Some important problems concerning e-commerce in general and shopping at Internet bookstores in particular are outlined below. In this report user requirements for specification of web-sites meeting the overall wishes of the end-users have been elicited. The needs are mainly based on experiments and discussions related to purchase of books, as this domain has been selected as the application domain for the e-commerce in COGITO, but the requirements are mostly common covering e-commerce in general. Various methods have been utilised to cover the requirement extraction from as many
    various perspectives as possible. This includes starting with studying literature concerning the general behaviour in 'the science of shopping', going via questionnaire investigations and walkthroughs of existing e-commerce web-sites to focus group discussions, unveiling as well present feelings about existing web-sites as future wishes for the optimal web-sites to come. One of the main features to consider, analyse and specify in COGITO was the use of 'intelligent personalised agents'. Therefore, a focus group experiment was set up to investigate and specify needs especially for this aspect. The focus group experiment was extended as compared to normal focus group discussions by having both individual 'interview by doing' sessions and group discussions. Based on a thorough analysis of the outcome of these sessions a list of end-user requirements was assembled and presented in a hierarchical structure presenting the strategic requirements as well as the procedures and operations supporting these requirements. Furthermore, in this experiment the associations
    of the members of the focus group concerning various types of agents were tried out in order to point to some main conclusions related to the choice of agent type. Furthermore, as a specific and very important aspect an overview of search strategies has been presented and related to a general cognitive systems engineering method for information seeking and retrieval in a variety of domains. The COGITO project is partially funded by CEC and the Danish Research Foundation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationRoskilde
    PublisherRisø National Laboratory
    Number of pages40
    ISBN (Print)87-550-2875-6
    ISBN (Electronic)87-550-2876-4
    Publication statusPublished - 2001
    SeriesDenmark. Forskningscenter Risoe. Risoe-R


    • Risø-R-1264
    • Risø-R-1264(EN)

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