Investigating a Contextual Usage of Product Based on Affordance Theory â A Case Study on VR Milling Machining Center Tools

by Jo-Peng Tsai

Institution: NSYSU
Department: Information Management
Degree: PhD
Year: 2015
Keywords: Affordance Theory; User Interface; Virtual Reality; Milling Machining Center; Technology Acceptance Model (TAM); Innovation Diffusion Theory (IDT)
Record ID: 1387992
Full text PDF: http://etd.lib.nsysu.edu.tw/ETD-db/ETD-search/view_etd?URN=etd-0110115-083025


There is a contradiction in prior studies concerning the explanations for the causes of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) artifact adoption while preserving both the generalizability of Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and the accuracy and salience to practice. This research proposed a new prospective and methodology to explore how design affordance affects the usage of product based on a contextual approach to investigating the relationship among design features, functional affordance, descriptive beliefs, and inferential beliefs. A case study in this research was conducted in two phases to explore the effect of design affordance on adoption of the Virtual Reality (VR) milling machining center. In the first phase, we investigated how the VR milling machining centerâs innovative design features afford userâs functional perception. Subsequently, two affordance-based beliefs â visibility and identifiability were elicited from the design features of the VR milling machining centerâs user interface. In the second phase, a theoretical model was developed and empirically assessed for exploring the effects of the elicited affordance-based variables along with the innovation diffusion theory (IDT) variables on the adoption of the VR milling machining center. Results show that the identifiability has significant positive effect on both perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use of the VR milling machining centerâs usage. However, the effect of visibility is significant on perceived ease of use but not on perceived usefulness. Of the IDT variables, only compatibility is statistically significant. From the affordance perspective, the research results of this paper might not only provide a feasible direction to remedy the insufficiency of TAM theory for academia but also provide practitioners with guidance to alleviate the gulf between designer and user by encouraging the designer to consider the key factors influencing user attitudes towards product adoption. This research has contributed a new vision and methodology to explain what and how innovative design features influence userâs attitudes towards the VR milling machining centerâs usage based on the affordance perspective. Furthermore, it is expectable that the manufacturers of machine tools can generate the value-added product/service by ways of highlighting the productâs differentiation based on the perspective of design affordances to develop better user interfaces.