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Article
Publication date: 10 May 2013

Nora Dethloff and Elizabeth M. German

The purpose of this case study is to raise issues and challenges with the formation and structure of web teams within libraries.

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581

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this case study is to raise issues and challenges with the formation and structure of web teams within libraries.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors review the literature and reflect on their experience with web teams.

Findings

The literature is scarce when it comes to discussions on building web and usability teams. However, using team formation theory can strengthen any sort of web team regardless of the exact nature of its formation and structure.

Practical implications

This paper reviews and reflects on a list of team formation aspects that could be beneficial while building a web team.

Originality/value

This case study fills a gap in the literature about how web and usability teams are formed and how team structure affects the success of the group.

Details

New Library World, vol. 114 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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Article
Publication date: 10 October 2007

J. Michael Pearson, Ann Pearson and David Green

This research aims to investigate the relative importance of five key criteria in assessing web usability. These criteria are navigation, download speed, personalization…

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4911

Abstract

Purpose

This research aims to investigate the relative importance of five key criteria in assessing web usability. These criteria are navigation, download speed, personalization, ease of use, and accessibility. It is believed that these factors play a significant role in assessing web usability.

Design/methodology/approach

This study utilized a scenario‐based, multi‐criteria decision‐making approach. The method (policy capturing) utilizes multiple scenarios to determine the relative importance of the criteria of interest. Based on the responses to these scenarios (assessing web usability), linear regressions, and Tukey's honestly significant differences were utilized to determine the relative importance of the five web usability criteria.

Findings

The research indicated that, as expected, ease of use was the criteria that the respondents considered most important in assessing web usability. Interestingly, personalization and customization was consistently reported as the least important criteria. It was also found that males and females view these web usability criteria differently.

Practical implications

The findings from this study have practical implications for web site designers.

Originality/value

The results indicate that less effort/resources should be devoted to personalization and customization, and more in making sure that web sites are easy to use and have clear navigation capabilities.

Details

Management Research News, vol. 30 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

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Article
Publication date: 4 April 2016

Serhat Peker, Seyma Kucukozer-Cavdar and Kursat Cagiltay

The purpose of this paper is to statistically explore the relationship between web usability and web presence of the universities. As a case study, five Turkish…

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1621

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to statistically explore the relationship between web usability and web presence of the universities. As a case study, five Turkish universities in different rankings which were selected from Webometrics rankings were evaluated and compared.

Design/methodology/approach

Two different methods were employed for performing usability evaluation of the selected universities: a user testing was used to measure the user performance on the selected tasks and a questionnaire to assess the user satisfaction on the website use. Both usability evaluation methods were applied on the pre-determined tasks for each university by participation of 20 subjects. After the usability evaluation, the universities were ranked in terms of usability results and finally, the relationship between web usability and web presence of universities was statistically investigated by using Kendall’s rank correlation.

Findings

Several common usability problems which were asserted by related previous studies were identified at the end of usability evaluation of university websites. The usability results also revealed that selected Turkish university websites suffer from numerous usability problems. Further, a strong positive correlation (p < 0.05) between the usability of the university websites and their web presences were identified. Hence, the participants showed a higher success and satisfaction while performing the tasks on the university websites which have strong web presences.

Practical implications

The findings from this study have practical implications for universities. Correlation results showed that universities can improve their web usability by giving importance to their web presence volumes. Universities can estimate their web usability levels by investigating their web presence rankings and they can also raise their rankings in Webometrics ranking system by improving the usability of their websites. Moreover, university web developers can design more usable and more user-friendly websites by avoiding usability and design problems identified through usability evaluation.

Originality/value

Different from the prior research efforts focussing on usability of educational web pages, this study contributes to the growing literature by statistically exploring the relationship between web presence and web usability of universities. This study is also precious from the point of view that it is one of the first attempts to evaluate and compare usability levels of a set of universities’ websites from Turkey.

Details

Program, vol. 50 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0033-0337

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Article
Publication date: 20 June 2008

Robert J. Nathan, Paul H.P. Yeow and San Murugesan

This paper aims to report on a web usability study and to identify and prioritise key web interface usability factors (WIUFs) for web sites of 36 student‐related online…

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4107

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to report on a web usability study and to identify and prioritise key web interface usability factors (WIUFs) for web sites of 36 student‐related online services categorised into three groups: personal services, purchase services and study‐related web sites.

Design/methodology/approach

In this study, involving 400 student internet users (SIUs), 12,310 data points were collected and analysed using a multiple linear regression test. Seven WIUFs were tested: use of colour and font (UCF), use of graphics and multimedia (UGM), clarity of goals in web site (CGW), trustworthiness of web site (TOW), interactivity of web site (IOW), ease of web navigation (EWN), and download speed of web site (DSOW).

Findings

The study results reveal that every online service category has a different set of crucial WIUFs. SIUs' web usability preferences were compared with those of general internet users.

Research limitations/implications

The participants were all Malaysians; therefore, generalising the findings to all SIUs will require a confirmatory study with SIUs from other parts of the world.

Practical implications

Web developers can use the results to design usable web sites for specific online service categories.

Originality/value

The research offers a simpler alternative to measure web usability and to determine which WIUFs are crucial for a specific online service category with consideration of the users' role. This study overcomes some weaknesses of previous studies, i.e. small sample size, no consideration of product‐task relationship, no specific customer group and cumbersome procedures.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 32 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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Article
Publication date: 12 April 2013

Layla Hasan, Anne Morris and Steve Probets

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

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4209

Abstract

Purpose

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

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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.

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Article
Publication date: 4 November 2014

Muhammad Nazrul Islam and Franck Tétard

The purpose of this empirical study was to address two important concerns of Web usability: how user-intuitive interface signs affect Web usability and how applying…

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1118

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this empirical study was to address two important concerns of Web usability: how user-intuitive interface signs affect Web usability and how applying semiotics (i.e. the doctrine of signs) in user interface (UI) design and evaluation helps to improve usability.

Design/methodology/approach

An empirical research approach is followed here to conduct three user tests. These tests were conducted on a Web application with 17 test participants. Data were gathered through laboratory-based think-aloud usability test, questionnaires and interviews. Following an empirical research approach, statistics and user behavior analysis were used to analyze the data.

Findings

This study explores two important concerns of UI design and evaluation. First, users’ interpretation accuracy of interface signs impact on Web usability. The study found that users’ interpretation of signs might be accurate, moderate, conflicting, erroneous or incapable; user-intuitive interface signs led participants to interpret signs’ meaning accurately; and users’ inaccurate interpretation of one or a few task-related interface sign(s) led users to usability problems, resulting in participants performing tasks with lower task-completion performance. Second, considering semiotics perception in UI design and evaluation is important to improve Web usability. This study showed that interface signs, when re-designed considering the semiotics guidelines, have increased the end-users’ interpretation accuracy and the interface signs’ intuitiveness. This study also provides a small set of semiotics guidelines for sign design and evaluation.

Originality/value

This study empirically demonstrated that signs’ intuitiveness impact on Web usability and that considering the semiotics perception in sign design and evaluation is important to improve Web usability. These outcomes are valuable in a number of ways to HCI researchers and practitioners: the results provide awareness of the importance of user-intuitive interface signs in UI design; practitioners can easily adopt the concept of interpretation accuracy classification to conduct a sign test to obtain an “overall impression of interface signs’ intuitiveness”; practitioners can easily adopt the methodological approach followed in this study to conduct usability test without additional resources; and the results raised important fundamental questions for future research such as “what does a practitioner need to be aware of when designing or evaluating interface signs?”

Details

Journal of Systems and Information Technology, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1328-7265

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Article
Publication date: 22 June 2010

Fethi Calisir, A. Elvan Bayraktaroğlu, Cigdem Altin Gumussoy, Y. İlker Topcu and Tezcan Mutlu

The purpose of this study is to determine the relative importance of the usability and functionality factors for online auction and shopping web sites from the perspective…

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3512

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to determine the relative importance of the usability and functionality factors for online auction and shopping web sites from the perspective of young consumers.

Design/methodology/approach

The Analytical Network Process (ANP) was used to analyse the relative importance of the usability and functionality factors.

Findings

The findings show that customers of online auction and shopping web sites give higher priority to usability and usability factors than to functionality, with navigation and interaction being the factors of highest relative importance.

Practical implications

First, customers assign higher priority to usability factors. Thus, early in the design phase, designers should attach more importance to navigation‐ and interaction‐related aspects of their web sites. Second, designers of web sites should include basic and advanced search options to increase the number of the web site users.

Originality/value

The study is the first to examine the relative importance of the usability and functionality factors of online auction and shopping web sites. Furthermore, the study fills this gap by identifying the complex interrelationships between various features of usability and functionality, and their impact on each other, by examining two Turkish online‐auction and shopping web sites.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 34 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2015

Adrian St. Patrick Duncan and Fay Durrant

The purpose of this study is to provide an assessment of the usability of the University of the West Indies, Mona, Main Library’s Web site by Master of Arts students of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to provide an assessment of the usability of the University of the West Indies, Mona, Main Library’s Web site by Master of Arts students of the Department of Library and Information Studies (D.L.I.S.) for the identification of major strengths and weaknesses of the site and to incorporate the results and participant feedback into a redesign that reflects users’ intuitions rather than those of the site developers and library staff.

Design/methodology/approach

One method was used to collect data; Observation. Its instruments included a list of activities executed by students followed by a checklist, which reflected day-to-day usage of the Main Library’s Web site by Master of Arts students in the D.L.I.S. In addition, both usability heuristics and International Standards Organisation (ISO) guidelines were used to assess effectiveness, learnability, usefulness, functionality, navigability and user satisfaction. Respondent strategies used a sample size of five participants in the focus group sessions. Experimental strategies combined observation of five individual participants who performed the usability tests.

Findings

The findings identified challenges in the site’s navigation, user satisfaction and learnability.

Research limitations/implications

There can be further assessment, as this study did not speak specifically to students with disabilities or took into consideration the views of the librarians. Additionally, more ethnographic approaches are required to elicit distinctive Caribbean user behaviors.

Practical implications

The study concludes that usability training should be incorporated into the culture of the library organization as well as more usability testing needs to be done on a more regular basis and on a more student interactive basis.

Originality/value

The paper presents issues of usability and the impact of technology on information access, memorability, learnability and functionality of an academic library’s Web site.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Article
Publication date: 25 February 2020

Leandro Guarino Vasconcelos, Laercio Augusto Baldochi and Rafael Duarte Coelho Santos

This paper aims to presents Real-time Usage Mining (RUM), an approach that exploits the rich information provided by client logs to support the construction of adaptive Web

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to presents Real-time Usage Mining (RUM), an approach that exploits the rich information provided by client logs to support the construction of adaptive Web applications. The main goal of RUM is to provide useful information about the behavior of users that are currently browsing a Web application. By consuming this information, the application is able to adapt its user interface in real-time to enhance the user experience. RUM provides two types of services as follows: support for the detection of struggling users; and user profiling based on the detection of behavior patterns.

Design/methodology/approach

RUM leverages the previous study on usability evaluation to provide a service that evaluates the usability of tasks performed by users while they browse applications. This evaluation is based on a metric that allows the detection of struggling users, making it possible to identify these users as soon as few logs from their interaction are processed. RUM also exploits log mining techniques to detect usage patterns, which are then associated with user profiles previously defined by the application specialist. After associating usage patterns to user profiles, RUM is able to classify users as they browse applications, allowing the application developer to tailor the user interface according to the users’ needs and preferences.

Findings

The proposed approach was exploited to improve user experience in real-world Web applications. Experiments showed that RUM was effective to provide support for struggling users to complete tasks. Moreover, it was also effective to detect usage patterns and associate them with user profiles.

Originality/value

Although the literature reports studies that explore client logs to support both the detection of struggling users and the user profiling based on usage patterns, no existing solutions provide support for detecting users from specific profiles or struggling users, in real-time, while they are browsing Web applications. RUM also provides a toolkit that allows the approach to be easily deployed in any Web application.

Details

International Journal of Web Information Systems, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-0084

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2005

Ross Yates

The purpose of this paper is to explore both accessibility and usability and examine the inhibitors and methods to evaluate site accessibility. Design techniques which…

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4206

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore both accessibility and usability and examine the inhibitors and methods to evaluate site accessibility. Design techniques which improve end‐user access and site interactivity, demonstrated by practical examples, are also studied.

Design/methodology/approach

Assesses various web sites for accessibility and usability.

Findings

Criteria are determined by which to assess accessibility and usability of web sites.

Originality/value

Disability is an important consideration in the development of contemporary web sites. By understanding the needs of all users, not only those with disabilities, organisations may begin the process of advancing both accessibility and usability and integrating these elements into their web development strategies.

Details

Campus-Wide Information Systems, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1065-0741

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