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Creating Virtual Touch: Theoretical Framework and Research Agenda

By Stephen Smith Robert, Robert B. Johnston and Steve Howard

Abstract

Of the processes that make up a transaction of selling a physical product for money over the Internet, those that presume some form of physical product handling are most problematic. These include the process of determining product utility and the delivery phase. The difficulties that the latter poses for the spread of on-line shopping and e-commerce-enabled disintermediation are well known, while the challenge of the former has received comparatively little study. This paper proposes to address that imbalance by outlining some methods by which e-commerce web designers currently facilitate customers in their quest to "experience" products over this new medium, particularly so-called "high touch" products whose features and quality are not easily described textually. We call this process of enhancing product experience "creating virtual touch". We then outline an agenda for further study, currently in progress, of techniques for creating virtual touch based on a body of theory from psychology, namely, Cognitive Continuum Theory

Topics: User Interface Design, Cognitive Continuum Theory
Year: 2007
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.19.3859
Provided by: CiteSeerX
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