An overview of and factor analytic approach to flow theory in online contexts

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An overview of flow theory is presented from the literature across multiple disciplines, including information systems, ecommerce, marketing, digital gaming, user interface, management, and cultural contexts. Flow can play a pivotal role in the user experience and impact the user interaction with a site, computing device, or app. It is worthwhile to examine the effects of flow experience on users and incorporate these findings in designing engaging user experiences and interfaces in both web sites and mobile applications. To further understand these implications, the present study gave a questionnaire to 310 participants in a computer laboratory setting following an online shopping episode. The factor analysis revealed three dimensions of flow experience: control, attention focus, and cognitive enjoyment. All three dimensions had very low correlations. No gender effect on flow was found.

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