The purpose of this paper is to classify the most important metrics proposed for web information systems, with the aim of offering the user a global vision of the state of the research within this area.
WQM distinguishes three dimensions related to web features, lifecycle processes and quality characteristics. A range of recently published (1992‐2004) works that include web metrics definitions have been studied and classified within this model.
In this work, a global vision of web metrics is provided. Concretely, it was found that about 44 percent of metrics are related to “presentation” and that most metrics (48 percent) are usability metrics. Regarding the life cycle, the majority of metrics are related to operation and maintenance processes. Nevertheless, focusing on metrics validation, it was found that there is not too much work done, with only 3 percent of metrics validated theoretically and 37 percent of metrics validated empirically.
The classification presented tries to facilitate the use and application of web metrics for different kinds of stakeholders (developers, maintainers, etc.) as well as to clarify where web metric definition efforts are centred, and thus where it is necessary to focus future works.
This work tries to cover a deficiency in the web metrics field, where many proposals have been stated but without any kind of rigour and order. Consequently, the application of the proposed metrics is difficult and risky, and it is dangerous to base decisions on their values.
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