Evaluating online support for mobile phone selection : using properties and performance criteria to reduce information overload : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Information Science in Information Systems at Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand
The mobile phone has been regarded as one of the most significant inventions in the field of communications and information technology over the past decade. Due to the rapid growth of mobile phone subscribers, hundreds of phone models have been introduced. Therefore, customers may find it difficult to select the most appropriate mobile phone because of information overload. The aim of this study is to investigate web support for customers who are selecting a mobile phone. Firstly, all the models of mobile phones in the New Zealand market were identified by visiting shops and local websites. Secondly, a list of all the features of these mobile phones was collated from local shops, websites and magazines. This list was categorised into mobile phone properties and performance criteria. An experiment then compared three different selection support methods: A (mobile phone catalogue), B (mobile phone property selection) and C (mobile phone property and performance criteria selection). The results of the experiment revealed that selection support methods B and C had higher overall satisfaction ratings than selection support method A; both methods B and C had similar satisfaction ratings. The results also suggested that males and females select their mobile phones differently, though there was no gender preference in selection support methods.