Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

The challenges of learning to use new products

Date:
June 21, 2010
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Consumers learn how to use new products best if they get a chance to try them out repeatedly, according to a new study.

Consumers learn how to use new products best if they get a chance to try them out repeatedly, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

"With the proliferation of consumer devices such as the iPhone, Wii, digital cameras, and various kinds of software applications, consumers face the challenge of learning to use new products," write authors Arun Lakshmanan, Charles D. Lindsey (both University at Buffalo -- SUNY), and H. Shanker Krishnan (Indiana University). The researchers found that "massed learning" (intense hands-on trial periods) lead to consumers developing a good mental model of the product, a positive attitude, and greater willingness to pay for new products.

"For example, a new Wii user may play a game repeatedly during one gaming session and thus attain some skill at using the nunchuck or she may become proficient via multiple play episodes over and extended period of time," the authors write. For some items, companies can facilitate trials. For example, a Best Buy salesperson may ask a teen trying Rock Band for the first time to play around with its features, or cellphone representative might help a potential customer program numbers into a phone. Companies may want to consider ways to allow customers even more chances to work with their products.

The authors also found that consumers differ in how they learn: they may learn by following instructions or through actual experience. "Over four experiments conducted using different software products we find that when consumers learn how to use a new product by reading instructions, they do better if the learning episodes are spaced," the authors write. "However, if their learning is via actual trial, they do better if the learning episodes are massed."

Their study also found that massed trials lead to a better and more flexible mental model of the product. In turn, consumers are better able to undertake new tasks with the product. "This ability is particularly relevant for new product success since it determines how much a product is used after purchase," the authors write.

"For example, individuals may try out different modes of image capture in a digital camera during their first interaction with the product (say, in a store) but over time, may use features that are different than the one initially learned (various resolution settings, timer set-up, etc.). How well consumers perform on these new tasks may have a strong bearing on how much they use the products, and in turn, their ultimate satisfaction."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Arun Lakshmanan, Charles D. Lindsey and H. Shanker Krishnan. Practice Makes Perfect? When Does Massed Learning Improve Product Usage Proficiency? Journal of Consumer Research, December 2010 [link]

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "The challenges of learning to use new products." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100621173932.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2010, June 21). The challenges of learning to use new products. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100621173932.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "The challenges of learning to use new products." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100621173932.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Scientists are tripping the elderly on purpose in a Chicago lab in an effort to better prevent seniors from falling and injuring themselves in real life. (Aug.28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) It’s an unusual condition with a colorful name. Kids with “Alice in Wonderland” syndrome see sudden distortions in objects they’re looking at or their own bodies appear to change size, a lot like the main character in the Lewis Carroll story. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Scientists have long called choline a “brain booster” essential for human development. Not only does it aid in memory and learning, researchers now believe choline could help prevent mental illness. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive brain cancer in humans. Now a new treatment using the patient’s own tumor could help slow down its progression and help patients live longer. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins