Reflective Journal of Usability Issues
- Article 1:
- Author: Lee Sangwon and Koubek J. Richard
- Title: The effects of usability and web design attributes on user preference for e-commerce web sites
- Date: 2010
- Journal: Computers in Industry 61
- Pages: 329-341
- Article 2:
- Author: Iqbal Rahat, Shah Nazaraf, James Anne and Duursma Jacob
- Title: Arrest: From work practices to redesign for usability
- Date: 2011
- Journal: Expert Systems with Applications 38
- Pages: 1182-1192
- Subject/Theme of the article
- Article 1
The relationship between usability and design attributes on user preference for e-commerce web sites
- Article 2
Incorporating user needs when re-designing a support management system in a small and medium sized enterprise
- Article 1
Companies that engage in e-commerce use the internet extensively to expand their businesses. The company’s website is an important feature of any company that is doing businesses over the internet. A website provides information concerning various products and services and thus communicates with the customer. It can also be used for commerce purposes, where customers and clients can buy different products and in addition to this, the website serves the purpose of entertainment. When designing a web site, the company should consider the type of business, the purpose of the website, the system it will use and the users of the website. Users are very important since they determine the success of the business. User preference reflects the attitude that the user has towards the interface and functionality of the website and this influences the decision that he or she makes. When making their preferences, the users will look at the usability of the website, the quality of the information provided, the performance and the aesthetics. High usability does not always mean high preference. There is a strong relationship between usability and user performance.
- Article 2
When developing expert systems, it is important to consider the user requirements. This includes the social, political and cultural needs of the user. The designer has to know the various user requirements and he or she can use questionnaires, interviews’ observations and user tests. By doing this, the designer makes sure that all user requirements are captured and enhanced in the user design. In addition, usability and acceptability of the design are improved. Questionnaires have various limitations such as lack of good feedback and the fact that one cannot clarify issues. Researchers have in the past combined different methods to improve the design and usability of a system. The goals of the user have to be a priority when designing a system. Different users have different goals and so do different departments. Customers have different goals from the other employees in the company. The finance department has different goals from the sales and project management departments.
Usability evaluation methods have been developed to measure usability and to make a website more usable and preferable. In defining usability, ISO 9241 emphasizes measurable standards of performance by specific users, tasks and situations. Usability can be evaluated by observing how users interact with a system and recording their performance.
Researchers such as Van der Veer, Welle and Thorborg combined traditional human computer interaction approaches and ethnography to develop a conceptual model for groupware task analysis. In developing e-class, the researchers combined methods such as weblog analysis with session tracking, questionnaires, controlled experiments and observation.
Ease of use of web designs and other systems lead to customer satisfaction. It ensures that the customer uses the system again. Systems should be built in a flexible manner and this ensures that there is room for changes to be made. Employees are more productive when they have a system that is more user-friendly. They do not spend much of their time trying to figure out how the system works and their energy is directed to the work and to the clients.
Researchers and designers should be willing to combine different approaches when designing a system so that they can develop a system that fits all the user requirements. They should use different approaches to capture user requirements since all approaches have their own benefits and limitations. They should test the system they have designed for considerable length of time to ensure that they have fully captured all user requirements.
- Other relevant or related readings
Users should find it easy to understand and navigate the system. If one is designing a website dealing with technological matters, he or she should take care not to use technical jargon since this limits the number of visitors who visit and use the site. The level of language used should be simple enough not to exclude anyone.
Colker, Nathan. “Four ways to optimize user experience design using unmoderated remote testing”. Userzoom. 21 December 2010. http://www.userzoom.com/four-ways-to-optimize-user-experience-design-using-unmoderated-remote-testing-
Rahat, Iqbal, Shah Nazaraf, James Anne and Duursma Jacob. “ARREST: From work practices to redesign for usability”. Expert Systems with Applications. 38, no. 2 (2011): 1182-1192.
Sangwon, Lee and Richard Koubek. “The effects of usability and web design attributes on user preference for e-commerce web sites”. Computers in Industry. 61, no. 4 (2010): 329-341.
 Lee Sangwon and Richard Koubek, “The effects of usability and web design attributes on user preference for e-commerce web sites”, Computers in Industry, 61, no. 4 (2010): 329-341.
 Iqbal Rahat, Shah Nazaraf, James Anne and Duursma Jacob, “ARREST: From work practices to redesign for usability”, Expert Systems with Applications, 38, no. 2 (2011): 1182-1192.
 Nathan Colker, “Four ways to optimize user experience design using unmoderated remote testing”, Userzoom, 21 December 2010, http://www.userzoom.com/four-ways-to-optimize-user-experience-design-using-unmoderated-remote-testing-
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