Sensory Perception & Interaction Research Group

University of British Columbia

Full citation: 
O'Brien, H. L., MacLean, K. E. (2009). "Measuring the User Engagement Process." In Proceedings of Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '09), Workshop on Engagement by Design, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, 6 pages, April 2009.
Engagement is a quality of user experience that facilitates more enriching interactions with computer applications. It is defined by a core set of attributes: aesthetic appeal, novelty, involvement, focused attention, perceived usability, and endurability. The ability to engage users influences the products they purchase, the websites they use, and the decisions they make regarding what they will use in future and what they will recommend to others. Engagement is clearly an important component of user experience, but like other components, it is somewhat intangible, and thus difficult to measure and evaluate. This workshop paper outlines previous research that has focused on the evaluation of engagement as an outcome of experience. We propose that focusing on measuring the process of engagement is the crucial next step. To assess whether or not users are engaged while using an application and what aspects of the system engage them, we must employ mixed methodologies to capture the cognitive, affective, and behavioural components of the experience. But which methods are most appropriate, and how can they be used in concert? Addressing these questions will allow us to understand the nature of engagement and inform design.
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