Multimedia Communication in e-Government Interface: A Usability and User Trust Investigation




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De Montfort University


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Peer reviewed


In the past few years, e-government has been a topic of much interest among those excited about the advent of Web technologies. Due to the growing demand for effective communication to facilitate real-time interaction between users and e-government applications, many governments are considering installing new tools by e-government portals to mitigate the problems associated with user – interface communication. Therefore, this study is to indicate the use of multimodal metaphors such as audio-visual avatars in e-government interfaces; to increase the user performance of communications and to reduce information overload and lack of trust that is common with many e-government interfaces. However, only a minority of empirical studies has been focused on assessing the role of audio-visual metaphors in e-government. Therefore, the subject of this thesis’ investigation was the use of novel combinations of multimodal metaphors in the presentation of messaging content to produce an evaluation of these combinations’ effects on the users’ communication performance as well as the usability of e-government interfaces and perception of trust. The thesis outlines research comprising three experimental phases. An initial experiment was to explore and compare the usability of text in the presentation of the messaging content versus recorded speech and text with graphic metaphors. The second experimental was to investigate two different styles of incorporating initial avatars versus the auditory channel. The third experiment examined a novel approach around the use of speaking avatars with human-like facial expressions, obverse speaking avatars full body gestures during the presentation of the messaging content to compare the usability and communication performance as well as the perception of trust. The achieved results demonstrated the usefulness of the tested metaphors to enhance e-government usability, improve the performance of communication and increase users’ trust. A set of empirically derived ground-breaking guidelines for the design and use of these metaphors to generate more usable e-government interfaces was the overall provision of the results.



Multimodal, e-government, Avatar, Record Speech, Earcons, communication, trust, Interface, E-government interface, HC1



Research Institute