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Online shoppers make better buys on PC than mobile

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This holiday shopping season, consumers may make better shopping decisions using their PCs rather than smartphones or other mobile devices, according to new research from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

“The issue is not actually screen size,” says Prof. Lior Fink, head of the Mobile Behavior Lab and a member of the BGU Department of Industrial Engineering and Management. “It is actually the fact that sites adjusted for mobile viewing reduce the information offered on the results page and require more digging around in the site for information. Sites adjusted for PC viewing give more information right up front.”

This is the first study that differentiates between screen size and information reduction, which are often mixed up. The findings will be presented next month at the International Conference on Information Systems, the top academic conference in the field.

In 2018, phones accounted for 47% of traffic to online stores and 36% of sales according to Adobe Analytics. Last Black Friday was the first during which there were more than $2 billion in online U.S. sales via phones.

“Most e-commerce providers use ‘responsive web design’ to adapt the presentation of information to the device used.” Fink explains. “While mobile friendly presentation improves visibility, it reduces the amount of information and causes consumers to make decisions that are less consistent with their preferences.”

From a pure decision-making perspective, the study shows it is better to simply present the same information irrespective of the device used. Consumers will find the information more difficult to view on mobile devices, but their decisions will be more accurate. 

Prof. Fink and his master’s student Daniele Papismedov conducted two experiments in the Mobile Behavior Lab focused on choosing a fictitious hotel room among 11 room options. Participants viewed the information either on a PC or on a mobile device. They viewed eight informational features about each room option on the PC display and only three on a mobile display. While all the information was available in both displays, it was more readily available on the PC display. The assignments to a specific device and to a specific display were independent of each other.

The experiments showed that when the same information was presented on both screens right up front, equally accurate decisions were made. As a result, the research showed that participants made decisions that were less accurate and less aligned with their preferences as a consequence of the mobile display but not as a consequence of the mobile device.

Whether it is selecting a hotel room, a new outfit or a new television, the researchers believe that shoppers will have a more accurate shopping experience in line with their preferences using a PC rather than a mobile friendly format.

The research was supported by a grant from the Israel Science Foundation.

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GoFundMe hits R9bn in donations for people and causes

The world’s largest social fundraising platform has announced that Its community has made more than 120-million donations

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GoFundMe this week released its annual Year in Giving report, revealing that its community has donated more than 120-million times, raising over $9-billion for people, causes, and organisations since the company’s founding in 2010.

In a letter to the GoFundMe community, CEO Rob Solomon emphasised how GoFundMe witnesses not only the good in people worldwide, but their generosity and their action every day.

“As we enter a new decade, GoFundMe is committed to spreading compassion and empathy through our platform,” said Solomon in the letter. “Together, we can bring more good into the world and unlock the power of global giving.”

The GoFundMe giving community continues to grow with both repeat donors and new donors. In fact, nearly 60% of donors were new this year. After someone makes a donation, they continue to engage with the community and give to multiple causes. In fact, one passionate individual donated 293 times to 234 different fundraisers in this past year alone. Donations are made every second, ranging from $5 to $50,000. This year, more than 40% of donations were under $50.

GoFundMe continues to be a mirror of current events across the globe. This year, young changemakers started the Fridays for Futuremovement to fight climate change, which led to a 60% increase in fundraiser descriptions mentioning ‘climate change’. Additionally, the community rallied together to support one another during natural disasters like Hurricane Dorian and the California wildfires, where thousands of fundraisers were started to help those in need.

The report includes a snapshot of giving trends from the year based on global GoFundMe data. It also includes company milestones from 2019, such as launching the company’s non-profit and advocacy arm, GoFundMe.org, and introducing GoFundMe Charity, which provides enterprise software with no subscription fees or contracts to charities of every size.

Highlights from GoFundMe’s 2019 Year in Giving report include:

  • Global giving trends and data
  • Top 10 most generous countries
  • Top 10 most generous U.S. states and cities
  • Biggest moments in 2019

To view the entire report, visit: www.gofundme.com/2019

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Cars

For users, in-car touchscreens ever more useless

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As touchscreens become more commonplace, the gulf of perceived differences in the performance of these features between cars and other devices (such as mobile and in-home) has become wider. A new report from the In-Vehicle UX (IVX) group at Strategy Analytics has investigated car owners’ satisfaction with their on-board touchscreens. Long hamstrung by poor UX and extended production cycles, in-car touchscreens are seen by car users and buyers as lagging behind the experience offered by touchscreens outside the car. As such, consumer satisfaction has continued to slide in China and Europe, while reaching historic lows in the US.

Surveying consumers in the US, Western Europe, and China via web-survey, key report findings include:

  • Difficult text entry and excessive fingerprint smudging are common complaints among all car owners.
  • Because touchscreens have reached market saturation in the US, satisfaction with in-car screens has tailed off significantly.
  • However, touchscreens remain a relatively newer phenomenon in many car models in Western Europe (compared with the US) and thus their limitations are less prominent in the minds of car owners.
  • Overall touchscreen satisfaction fell for the fifth straight year in China, indicating a growing impatience for in-car UX to match UX found elsewhere in the consumer electronics space.

Derek Viita, Senior Analyst and report author, says, “Part of the issue with fingerprint smudging is the angle at which in-car touchscreens are installed – they make every fingerprint increasingly visible.

“Fingerprint smudging is an issue across all touchscreen-based consumer electronics. But in most form factors and especially mobile devices, consumers can quite easily adjust their viewing angle. This is not always the case with fixed in-car screens.”

Says Chris Schreiner, Director, Syndicated Research UXIP, “Although hardware quality certainly figures in many of the usual complaints car owners have about their screens, it is not the sole factor. Cockpit layout and UI design can play important roles in mitigating some issues with in-car touchscreens.”

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