The Internet theoretically enables marketers to personalize a Web site to an individual consumer. This article examines optimal Website design from the perspective of personality trait theory and resource‐matching theory. The influence of two traits relevant to Internet Web‐site processing—sensation seeking and need for cognition —were studied in the context of resource matching and different levels of Web‐site complexity. Data were collected at two points of time: personality‐trait data and a laboratory experiment using constructed Web sites. Results reveal that (a) subjects prefer Web sites of a medium level of complexity, rather than high or low complexity; (b) high sensation seekers prefer complex visual designs, and low sensation seekers simple visual designs, both in Web sites of medium complexity; and (c) high need‐for‐cognition subjects evaluated Web sites with high verbal and low visual complexity more favorably. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Psychology & Marketing – Wiley
Published: Feb 1, 2005