Investigation into the impact of the usability factor on the acceptance of mobile transactions: Empirical study in Saudi Arabia

Mohammed Alqahtani, Obead Alhadreti, Roobaea Alrobaea, Pamela Mayhew

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Abstract

Both the rapid advances in wireless technologies and the high proliferation rate of mobile communication services and artefacts have had a profound impact on industry, and are beginning to offer interesting and advantageous new services. In particular, the mobile transaction (mtransaction) system has emerged, enabling users to pay for physical and digital goods and services using their mobile devices whenever they want, regardless of their location. Although it is anticipated that m-transactions will enjoy a bright future, there is apparently still reluctance among users to accept mobile transactions, particularly in Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, it is believed that usability is critical to the success and acceptance of mobile technology innovations in general, and m-transactions in particular. While most of the research into IT innovation acceptance is based on TAM (Technology Acceptance Model) and its many variants, the literature review reveals that there is little research on mobile application usability as an important antecedent factor for the success and acceptance of mobile technologies. This is particularly true in developing countries, especially the Middle East, therefore this project aims to fill this gap in the research. This paper is an extension of four previous studies by the authors, which indicated that usability is the most influential factor in Saudi users’ intentions of utilising mobile transactions. It aims to investigate and empirically test the usability level of mobile transactions from the perspective of Saudi users; this will be achieved by conducting usability experiments with real mobile applications within the target group. In other words, this study is a part of a larger research project and it serves as a validation/verification tool to answer the question “Why does the ease of use of mobile transactions have the highest impact on the intention to use mobile transactions in Saudi Arabia?” Moreover, it will produce a set of empirically-based recommendations for the developers and providers of mobile applications who are interested in the Saudi market. The results of the this study showed that the usability of the tested application, which is considered one of the most popular commercial mobile application in Saudi Arabia (i.e. ‘Souq.com’), is unsatisfactory, with an average SUS Score of 50. Not surprisingly, this low usability negatively affected the willingness of the participants to use the application again.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-35
JournalInternational Journal of Human Computer Interaction
Volume6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2015

Keywords

  • Mobile Transaction
  • Mobile Usability
  • IT Innovation Acceptance
  • Human Computer Interaction

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