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Article

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…

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

Ankur Pant

The paper aims to evaluate the usability of the website of Central Science Library (CSL), University of Delhi. Multi-method approach of evaluation is used with the use of…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to evaluate the usability of the website of Central Science Library (CSL), University of Delhi. Multi-method approach of evaluation is used with the use of standard checklist and questionnaire survey of representative users. Besides, the information architecture of the website under study is analysed in this paper.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the literature review and the author’s experience, a usability assessment tool for library websites was developed by Pant (2013). It comprises standard checklist and questionnaire for users’ survey. In the present study, this framework was used to assess the usability of CSL website. The questionnaire survey of 35 representative users was conducted through random sampling. The results of both methods (standard checklist and questionnaire survey) were analysed for evaluating the website usability.

Findings

Need for improvement of the website was realised in terms of efficiency, effectiveness and learnability for better usability. Notice board, site search facility, list of services, FAQs and user guides were the most sought after features among others as per the analysis of the questionnaire survey. Besides, the need to enhance the visual appeal of the website was felt. However, information resources provided through the CSL website were found useful for users.

Originality/value

The paper presents an innovative multi-method approach of website usability assessment while considering six usability attributes: Usefulness, Efficiency, Effectiveness, Learnability, Satisfaction and Accessibility. The approach adopted in this paper is cost effective in comparison to formal usability tests and heuristic evaluation. Therefore, this framework is suitable for libraries having limited budget to ensure the user-centred library website with maximum usability. This paper encourages other libraries to conduct similar website usability evaluation to identify the usability problem areas and users’ perception for their respective website.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 33 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

Keywords

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Article

Yavuz Inal

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the usability of the National Library of Turkey website developed for all citizens in the country to retrieve information…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the usability of the National Library of Turkey website developed for all citizens in the country to retrieve information available in a wide range of areas.

Design/methodology/approach

The evaluation performed by 57 undergraduate university students involved the identification and analysis of usability problems in the selected website. The assessment process was mainly based on Nielsen’s Heuristics. The data obtained in the evaluation process were enriched using the System Usability Scale (SUS) and the Net Promoter Score (NPS) to conduct a more detailed analysis.

Findings

The participants identified many usability problems concerning the evaluated website and considered it as having low usability characteristics. The most violated heuristic item was found to be “consistency and standards” whereas the least violated heuristic item was “match between system and the real world.” The total number of the usability problems in heuristic evaluation correlated significantly and negatively with the SUS and the NPS results indicating that the more participants identified usability problems, the less they considered the website as usable and recommendable.

Research limitations/implications

The participants were not usability experts, however they were selected from among the students who received the Human Computer Interaction course to ensure that they had sufficient information and experience concerning the evaluation of a website with heuristics. Besides, the study was limited to a small number of university students. The implication is that results of this study have potential to guide libraries, which plan to adapt themselves to the digital world by delivering web services, by addressing critical points influencing users’ points of views toward library websites and their usability evaluation result.

Practical implications

Depending on the changes in user habits regarding the retrieval of information, libraries have made considerable investments in web technologies to meet their users’ demands, and recently, digital libraries have begun to take over physical libraries. Users always need to perform tasks efficiently, effectively and satisfactorily when using websites. As one of the most crucial sources of digital materials, library websites are expected to have usable characteristics that satisfactorily meet user requirements. Therefore, the practical implication is that the findings of the study will guide designers, developers and practitioners in the development of library websites.

Originality/value

In the context of usability evaluation of digital libraries, this is the first study to analyze effects of usability problems identified by users during the heuristic inspection on their overall evaluation score and willingness to recommend the website to their friends or colleagues.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 70 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

Keywords

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Article

Qing-Xing Qu, Fu Guo and Vincent G. Duffy

The evaluation of website usability is the precondition and a critical step for website design and optimization. The purpose of this paper is to investigate and provide…

Abstract

Purpose

The evaluation of website usability is the precondition and a critical step for website design and optimization. The purpose of this paper is to investigate and provide empirical evidence of the interrelationships between human physiological metrics and website usability. This study examines how eye-movement metrics and heart rate variability (HRV) evaluate website usability, and then affect users’ online surfing behavior.

Design/methodology/approach

A physiological measurement experiment is designed to collect participants’ physiological metrics. This paper proposes an objective measurement model for website usability, and partial least squares is used to analyze the measurement and structural models, based on data collected from 200 participants who had experienced online surfing at least four times.

Findings

The analysis supports partially or fully 28 of the 31 hypotheses formulated. The study reveals that human physiological metrics (i.e. fixation duration, fixation count, blink count, HRV) have a strong explanatory ability for website usability.

Research limitations/implications

Data for this study were collected only from mainland China. Therefore, participants may have been influenced by Chinese cultures. The generalizability of this study may be enhanced by collecting data from more diverse samples and validating the model on different cultures.

Originality/value

This study contributes significantly to the industry by providing empirical evidence of the interrelationship between human physiological metrics and website usability. The findings also provide managers with valuable insight into better understanding of the nature of these interrelationships.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 69 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

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Article

Maria del Carmen Suarez-Torrente, Patricia Conde-Clemente, Ana Belén Martínez and Aquilino A. Juan

The purpose of this paper is to improve and facilitate the work of developers and usability evaluators by providing an adaptable and effective support. A well-defined set…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to improve and facilitate the work of developers and usability evaluators by providing an adaptable and effective support. A well-defined set of criteria and a range of evaluation values for each criterion as well as a complete websites classification, will guide evaluators. A usability percentage and a list of prioritized criteria, adapted to the type of website by a new usability metric, will help developers to improve the website. This improvement will increase the degree of web user satisfaction.

Design/methodology/approach

Having established and validated a new usability evaluation framework, several usability tools have been analyzed. None of them totally fulfills the requirements of the evaluation framework. As a result of being unable to customize any of them, a new one has been developed. A study of 42 enterprise websites in an economically depressed region of Europe was performed using the new tool. This study involved 42 evaluators and 118 web users. Users have evaluated the websites before and after the redesign. A end-user computing satisfaction model-based questionary was used to collect data about end-user satisfaction. The results validate the proposal.

Findings

The study confirms that the proposed tool provides valuable information during the process of web development, evaluation and redesign. In adittion, it reveals that improving websites usability by ensuring criteria compliance has a positive effect on web users satisfaction.

Originality/value

Unlike previous purposes, the proposed tool allows to evaluate any type of website with a well-defined set of evaluation criteria and specific criteria values. As outcomes, the tool provides the website usability degree and a list of criteria ordered by priority repair. These results are adapted to the specific type of website. This makes easier and more effective the redesign of the evaluated website.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 40 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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Article

Isabel Mariann Silvis, Theo J.D. Bothma and Koos J.W. de Beer

The purpose of this paper is to provide an integrated list of heuristics and an information architecture (IA) framework for the heuristic evaluation of the IA of academic…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an integrated list of heuristics and an information architecture (IA) framework for the heuristic evaluation of the IA of academic library websites as well as an evaluation framework with practical steps on how to conduct the evaluation.

Design/methodology/approach

A set of 14 heuristics resulted from an integration of existing usability principles from authorities in the field of usability. A review of IA literature resulted in a framework for dividing academic library websites into six dialogue elements. The resulting heuristics were made applicable to academic library websites through the addition of recommendations based on a review of 20 related studies.

Findings

This study provides heuristics, a framework and workflow guidelines that can be used by the various evaluators of academic library websites, i.e. library staff, web developers and usability experts, to provide recommendations for improving its usability.

Research limitations/implications

The focus of the usability principles is the evaluation of the IA aspects of websites and therefore does not provide insights into accessibility or visual design aspects.

Originality/value

The main problem that is addressed by this study is that there are no clear guidelines on how to apply existing usability principles for the evaluation of the IA of academic library websites.

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Article

María García García, M. Victoria Carrillo-Durán and Juan Luis Tato Jimenez

The purpose of this paper is to establish a categorization of corporate websites as tools of online communication, in accordance with how they apply usability to the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to establish a categorization of corporate websites as tools of online communication, in accordance with how they apply usability to the content they present, and to determine the indicators of the content and usability variables which mark the differences between each group of websites.

Design/methodology/approach

The present study analyses how 754 firms manage the usability of the content they provide through the channels of their corporate websites. To this end, a cluster analysis was applied to distinguish the types of firms according to the usability and content of their websites, followed by a discriminant analysis to determine which variables differentiate the groups.

Findings

The work has presented a list of the indicators that the literature has considered to be determinant aspects of firms’ use of their websites for corporate strategic communications. These indicators can be applied in forming an instrument to measure the quality of company websites in this area.

Originality/value

The present paper has attempted to clarify the panorama of corporate online communication via websites, understanding the issue as being not just a mere technicality but addressing it from the perspective of the emitter of the communication as a strategic instrument.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

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Article

Urvashi Tandon, Ravi Kiran and Ash Sah

This study aims to identify and analyse the key determinants influencing customer satisfaction towards online shopping in India.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to identify and analyse the key determinants influencing customer satisfaction towards online shopping in India.

Design/methodology/approach

The literature concerning major attributes of website functionality, perceived usability, perceived usefulness and customer satisfaction in online retailing were reviewed. Data were collected from 365 respondents active in online shopping for examining the constructs. The model was empirically tested using structural equation modelling.

Findings

The findings of the study reveal that perceived usefulness and website functionality have a positive impact on customer satisfaction, whereas perceived usability had a significant but negative impact on customer satisfaction.

Practical implications

This research will help online retailers to attract and motivate new customers for online shopping and existing customers to extend it in their daily purchase. Online retailers can improve post purchase satisfaction and eventually increase online customers.

Originality/value

This is one of the preliminary study dealing with customer satisfaction towards online retailing in India. The scale has been extended to include items like satisfaction with cash on delivery mode of payment not included in previous scales. The scale of perceived usefulness has also been deepened by adding time performance, product performance and promotional performance.

Details

Nankai Business Review International, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8749

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Article

Leanne M. VandeCreek

To describe the process and present the findings of a usability assessment of the Northern Illinois University Libraries' website.

Abstract

Purpose

To describe the process and present the findings of a usability assessment of the Northern Illinois University Libraries' website.

Design/methodology/approach

After significant planning, Northern Illinois University Libraries conducted a usability analysis using a trilateral approach: usability testing, focus group sessions, and survey questionnaires.

Findings

Quantitative and qualitative data are presented and discussed. Quantitative data does not adequately reflect what the test moderators and recorders observed during test sessions. Thus, qualitative data prove to be more valuable. Results were used to redesign the library's website.

Research limitations/implications

Questionnaire return rate was extremely low, and therefore these results could not be compared with the results of the other two data collection methods.

Practical implications

The detailed methodology section can provide guidance for other libraries considering performing usability test analyses.

Originality/value

This study utilized a unique combination of usability testing, focus group, and survey questionnaire data collection methods to solicit feedback from users. Discussion of the results leads to a new and important question for future research: what can usability testing reveal about patrons' level of information literacy skills?

Details

OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1065-075X

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Article

Arslan Sheikh

Library websites serve as gateways to the information resources and services of their libraries. In today’s digital age, the development of websites is inevitable for…

Abstract

Purpose

Library websites serve as gateways to the information resources and services of their libraries. In today’s digital age, the development of websites is inevitable for libraries as a means to provide users with online services at their desktops. This case study reports the findings of a usability study of an academic library website from the user’s perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey on the efficacy of the website and statistical reports from Google Analytics were used as tools to assess and track the use of the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) Institute of Information Technology’s (CIIT’s) library website resources by national and international users. A sample of 550 users was invited by e-mail to respond to the questionnaire covering various usability features of the website.

Findings

Findings reveal that users are largely satisfied with the usefulness, convenience, design and quality of CIIT library website. Moreover, the users are mostly making use of the website for accessing research papers through the Higher Education Commission (HEC) digital library, exploring free online open access journals, searching for e-books and examining the library collection via online public access catalog (OPAC). This shows that the library website has a significant role in the pedagogical activities of the CIIT community.

Research limitations/implications

The results are limited to a case study of CIIT, Islamabad campus library website.

Practical implications

The findings of this study will help the library administration to overcome existing deficiencies in the CIIT library website.

Originality/value

The study is a foremost usability evaluation of CIIT, Islamabad campus library website from the user perspective.

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