Learning by Doing: Understanding the Role of Affordance Informativity in Information Search Performance

Fei Liu, Bo Sophia Xiao, Eric T. K. Lim, Chee-Wee Tan

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    Information search is becoming increasingly demanding due to the booming of Consumer Generated Content (CGC) in online environment. This has led to growing scholarly interest in designing search features to accommodate diverse user preferences. Drawing on the Theory of Affordance Informativity, we advance ostensive informativity and performative informativity as focal mechanisms for search features to convey actions afforded to users. We further put forth a typology of search features that is grounded in both dimensions of search affordance informativities. Next, we construct a research framework that depicts how search affordance informativity bolsters information search performance. By conducting a field experiment on our custom-made online restaurant review website, we discovered that performative informativity increases search result anticipation and reduces search costs whereas ostensive informativity only facilitates the former. Search result anticipation in turn enhances search performance in terms of efficiency and utility, but the opposite effect is observed for search costs.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationICIS 2016 Proceedings
    Number of pages18
    Place of PublicationAtlanta, GA
    PublisherAssociation for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
    Publication date2016
    ISBN (Electronic)9780996683135
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    Event2016 International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2016: Digital Innovation at the Crossroads - University of Limerick, Dublin, Ireland
    Duration: 11 Dec 201614 Dec 2016
    Conference number: 37


    Conference2016 International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2016
    LocationUniversity of Limerick
    OtherThirty Seventh International Conference on Information Systems
    Internet address
    SeriesProceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems


    • Online information search
    • Search affordance informativity
    • Search efficiency
    • Search utility
    • Filed experiment

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