This paper investigates the use of avatars to communicate live message in e-government interfaces. A comparative study is presented that evaluates the contribution of multimodal metaphors (including avatars) to the usability of interfaces for e-government and user trust. The communication metaphors evaluated included text, earcons, recorded speech and avatars. The experimental platform used for the experiment involved two interface versions with a sample of 30 users. The results demonstrated that the use of multimodal metaphors in an e-government interface significantly contributes to enhancing the usability and increase trust of users to the e-government interface. A set of design guidelines, for the use of multimodal metaphors in e-government interfaces, was also produced.


multimodal e-government interfaces avatar speech earcons trust 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Rigas, D.I.: Guidelines for Auditory Interface Design: An Empirical Investigation. PhD thesis, Loughborough University of Technology (1996)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Rigas, D., Hopwood, D.: The Role of Multimedia in Interfaces for On-Line Learning. In: 9th Pan-Hellenic Conference on Informatics (PCI 2003), Thessaloniki, Greece (2003)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Oviatt, S.: Multimodal Interfaces. In: The Human-Computer Interaction Handbook: Fundamentals, Evolving Technologies, and Emerging Applications (2003)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Al-Omar, K., Rigas, D.: An Empirical Investigation of different Interactive Environments in E-Commerce. In: Proceedings of the Ninth Informatics Workshop for Research Students, Bradford, UK, pp. 68–71 (June 2008) ISBN: 978-1-85143-251-6Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Alsuraihi, M.M., Rigas, D.: Multimodal Interaction Metaphors for Interface Design: an Empirical Investigation on Learnability. In: Proceedings of the Saudi Innovation Conference 2007, Newcastle University, pp. 686–694 (May 2007) ISBN: 978-0-955104-92-3Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Nielsen, J.: Usability Engineering. Academic Press Inc., US (1993)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Costabile, M.F.: Usability in the Software Life Cycle. In: Handbook of Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering, vol. 1, pp. 179–192 (2001)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    ISO, ISO 9241: Ergonomic Requirements for Office Work with Visual Display Terminals (VDTs) - Part 11: Guidelines on usability, p. 2 (1998)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ciuffreda, A.: An Empirical Investigation in Using Multi-modal Metaphors to Browse Internet Search Results. In: Department of Computing, School of Informatics. PhD. University of Bradford, Bradford (2008)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Alotaibi, M.: Electronic Customer Knowledge Management Systems: a Multimodal Interaction Approach. In: Informatics Research Institute. PhD. University of Bradford, Bradford (2009)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Rigas, D.I., Memery, D., Hopwood, D., Rodrigues, M.A.: Empirically derived design issues in auditory information processing for mobile telephony. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Technology: Coding and Computing 2000,Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Camerer, C.F.: Behavioral Game Theory. Russell Sage Foundation, NewYork (2003)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Fukuyama, F.: Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity. Penguin Books, London (1996)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kramer, R.M., Tyler, T.R.: Trust in Organizations: Frontiers of Theory and Research. Sage, London (1996)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Markova, I. (ed.): Trust and Democratic Transition in Post-communist Europe. Oxford University Press, Oxford (2004)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Rousseau, D.M., Sitkin, S.B., Burt, R.S., Camerer, C.: Not so different after all: A cross-discipline view of trust. Academy of Management Review 23, 393–404 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Bartneck, C., Takahashi, T., Katagiri, Y.: Cross Cultural Study of Expressive Avatars. In: Proceedings of the Social Intelligence Design (2004)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Dickey, M.D.: 3D virtual worlds: an emerging technology for traditional and distance learning. In: Proceedings Ohio Learning Network: The Convergence of Learning and Technology— Window on the Future (2003),
  19. 19.
    Beskow, J.: Animation of Talking Agents. In: Proceedings of AVSP, vol. 97, pp. 149–152 (1997)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Sheth, R.: Avatar Technology: Giving a Face to the e-Learning Interface. The eLearning Developers Journal (2003)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Brooke, J.: SUS: a “quick and dirty” usability scale. Usability Evaluation in Industry, 189–194 (1996)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Colesca, S.E.: Understanding trust in e-government. Inzinerine Ekonomika-Engineering Economics 3, 7–15 (2009)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Badr Almutairi
    • 1
  • Dimitrios Rigas
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of TechnologyDe Montfort UniversityLeicesterUK
  2. 2.University of West LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations