Decision-making theories have argued that many daily decisions are the result of heuristic rather than systematic processes. Given the ubiquity of smartphones as mobile communication and computing devices along with the vast smartphone app market, our exploratory study aimed to understand how heuristics guide smartphone app selection. Observing 49 smartphone users from the US and Germany viewing 189 total apps from three predetermined categories, the current study identified five decision-making heuristics used to download a variety of smartphone apps. Of these, four were variants of a “Take the First” (TtF) heuristic that allowed smartphone users to quickly navigate the app market, by passing a good deal of other informational cues in order to download apps that were simply highly rated or ranked. Reliance on heuristic processing is useful in helping navigate the app market, but it also results in smartphone users overlooking potentially important app information.
- mobile communication
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Media Technology
- Computer Networks and Communications