E‐commerce websites for developing countries – a usability evaluation framework

Layla Hasan (Department of Management Information Systems, Zarqa University, Zarqa, Jordan)
Anne Morris (Department of Information Science, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)
Steve Probets (Department of Information Science, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)

Online Information Review

ISSN: 1468-4527

Publication date: 12 April 2013



The purpose of this paper is to develop a methodological usability evaluation approach for e‐commerce websites in developing countries.


A multi‐faceted usability evaluation of three Jordanian e‐commerce websites was used, where three usability methods (user testing, heuristic evaluation and web analytics) were applied to the sites.


A four‐step approach was developed to facilitate the evaluation of e‐commerce sites, mindful of the advantages and disadvantages of the methods used in identifying specific usability problems.

Research limitations/implications

The approach was developed and tested using Jordanian users, experts and e‐commerce sites. The study compared the ability of the methods to detect problems that were present, however, usability issues not present on any of the sites could not be considered when creating the approach.

Practical implications

The approach helps e‐commerce retailers evaluate the usability of their websites and understand which usability method(s) best matches their need.


This research proposes a new approach for evaluating the usability of e‐commerce sites. A novel aspect is the use of web analytics (Google Analytics software) as a component in the usability evaluation in conjunction with heuristics and user testing.



Hasan, L., Morris, A. and Probets, S. (2013), "E‐commerce websites for developing countries – a usability evaluation framework", Online Information Review, Vol. 37 No. 2, pp. 231-251. https://doi.org/10.1108/OIR-10-2011-0166

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