A Proposed Template for the Evaluation of Web Design Strategies

A Proposed Template for the Evaluation of Web Design Strategies

Dimitrios Xanthidis (Ciber, University College London, UK, DEI College, Greece, & NYC College, Greece), David Nicholas (Ciber, University College London, UK) and Paris Argyrides (University College London, UK)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-100-1.ch014
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This chapter is the result of a two years effort to design a template aiming at standardizing, as much as such a task is feasible, the evaluation of Web sites. It is the product of a few publications in international conferences and journals. A thorough review of the international literature on the subject led the authors to conclude there is a very large number of opinions, thoughts and criteria from different professionals involved, directly or indirectly, with the process of designing a good Web site. To make matters even more complicated there are a number of different terms used by various scholars, scientists and professionals around the world that often refer to similar, if not the same, attributes of a Web site. However, it seems that all these differences could boil down to a systematic approach, here called evaluation template, of 53 points that the design strategies of the Web sites should be checked against. This template was tested on a significant number (232) of Web sites of Greek companies and proved it can be used to evaluate the quality of Web sites not only by technology experts but by non-experts alike. The evaluation template, suggested here, is by no means the solution to the problem of standardizing the process of evaluating a Web site but looking at other work done on the subject worldwide it is a step ahead.
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Despite the fact that in many developing countries internet access and e-commerce was not introduced until very recently (Xanthidis and Nicholas, 2004), the world is, clearly, moving towards the digital platform (Figure 1 – Greece in the red circle) with a rapidly increasing number of companies in these countries hosting Web sites. The question is whether these Web sites meet the international standards concerning a site’s functionality. A preliminary research of large on- or off-line universities’ libraries and governmental Web sites revealed that there are a number of different professions involved in the process of designing a good Web site, e.g. managers, marketing people, information technology experts, lawyers, ethnologists, all having different opinions regarding the functionality and appearance of a good Web site. However, it also proved it is possible to design a template that incorporates the main points of all these different views.

Figure 1.

Global Internet penetration 2006

A critical parameter affecting the way people interact with a Web site is its structure, overall design and layout. A poorly designed Web site might lead to accessibility problems as well as reduced interest to navigate through it causing reluctance to visit the site again. Even though professional firms design many Web sites, there is, still, a substantial amount of work done by people with limited knowledge on how a well-designed Web site should be regardless of the fact these technology experts have the know-how to build any e-commerce solution, from a simple to a very sophisticated one.

The main problem in most cases where an evaluation of a Web site is required is the lack of certain systematic methodology to follow. This is exactly what this chapter is all about. A simple yet comprehensive, straightforward yet seen from four different angles, approach of how a Web site could be evaluated based on a number of criteria gathered from many different sources, scholars, scientists and academics, worldwide. Noone can claim to have found the solution to a problem so complex that it involves a variety of different professions not limited to the information and telecommunications technology. However, the discussion that this template has be subject to in three international conferences leads the authors that it is, indeed, a small step ahead toward the solution to the problem.



In a highly competitive environment, such as the Web, with billions of sites online and thousands added every day (D-Lib Magazine, 2003) designers/developers consider important that Web sites are attractive and inspire trust to the users so as to cause them to revisit. Therefore, once decisions have been made as of what features and functionalities the e-commerce solution should include the technology experts come into play in order to realize the solution into a good Web site. Based on extensive review of the international literature four categories of features and functionality are considered key for the successful implementation of an e-commerce strategy: user-interface design, globalization and customization, accessibility and availability, security and privacy. This section identifies, describes and analyzes the issues that comprise each category.

Complete Chapter List

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List of Reviewers
Table of Contents
Omar A. El Sawy
Chapter 1
Richard Boateng, Alemayehu Molla, Richard Heeks
This chapter undertakes a meta-analysis of the published literature on e-commerce in developing economies (DEs). The aim is to take stock of the... Sample PDF
E-Commerce in Developing Economies: A Review of Theoretical Frameworks and Approaches
Chapter 2
Reinhold Decker
This chapter outlines and discusses current empirical findings and conceptual ideas concerning the status quo and future prospects of e-commerce in... Sample PDF
Significance and Success Factors of E-Commerce in China and Russia: An Empirical View
Chapter 3
Sushil K. Sharma, Jatinder N.D. Gupta
The past few years have seen a rise in the number of companies’ embracing e-commerce technologies in developing countries and the volume of... Sample PDF
Identifying Factors for Lack of E-Commerce in Developing Countries
Chapter 4
Antonis C. Stylianou, Stephanie S. Robbins, Pamela Jackson
It is widely recognized that e-commerce represents a critical resource for most business organizations. With over 1.3 billion people and... Sample PDF
E-Commerce Development in China: An Exploration of Perceptions and Attitudes
Chapter 5
Mahesha Kapurubandara
Acceptance of the Internet has paved the way towards the development of virtual communities that keep increasing in the current information society... Sample PDF
E-Commerce Adoption and Appropriation by SMEs in Sri Lanka
Chapter 6
Alev M. Efendioglu
The number of Internet users around the world has been steadily growing and this growth has provided the impetus and the opportunities for global... Sample PDF
E-Commerce in Developing Countries: Impediments and Opportunities
Chapter 7
Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jager
E-governance is a powerful tool for bringing about change to government processes in the developing world. It operates at the crossroads between... Sample PDF
E-Governance in Uganda: Experiences and Lessons Learned from the DistrictNet Programme
Chapter 8
Abdelbaset Rabaiah
This chapter illustrates the impact of electronic government (e-government) on electronic commerce (e-commerce) development and implementation in... Sample PDF
E-Government and Its Impact on E-Commerce in LDCs
Chapter 9
Zakariya Belkhamza
Global deployment in information and communication technology requires understandings of the cultural constraints in technology acceptance and usage... Sample PDF
Cultural Interpretation of E-Commerce Acceptance in Developing Countries: Empirical Evidence from Malaysia and Algeria
Chapter 10
Ahu Genis-Gruber
E-commerce has been a widely used mean to purchase goods and services all over the world. This study investigates the role of cultural differences... Sample PDF
Cultural Differences, Information Technology Infrastructure, and E-Commerce Behavior: Implications for Developing Countries
Chapter 11
Kamel Rouibah
With the widespread use of mobile phones in the Arab world, companies, including banks, are offering different communication channels for their... Sample PDF
Mobile-Commerce Intention to Use via SMS: The Case of Kuwait
Chapter 12
Ayoub Yousefi
This study presents a theoretically-based model for economic analysis of electronic commerce in developing countries. The Porter diamond model is... Sample PDF
An Economic Framework for the Assessment of E-Commerce in Developing Countries
Chapter 13
Lena Aggestam
B2B development has been faster in the developed world comparing to developing countries. This chapter proposes a “tool” for managing CSF in B2B... Sample PDF
Guidelines for Preparing Organizations in Developing Countries for Standards-Based B2B
Chapter 14
Dimitrios Xanthidis, David Nicholas, Paris Argyrides
This chapter is the result of a two years effort to design a template aiming at standardizing, as much as such a task is feasible, the evaluation of... Sample PDF
A Proposed Template for the Evaluation of Web Design Strategies
Chapter 15
Jameleddine Ziadi, Abderrazzak Ben Salah
This chapter has as an aim the identification of the present reality of the e-commerce activity in Tunisia and the challenges its faces. After... Sample PDF
Electronic Commerce Reality in Tunisia
Chapter 16
Hongxiu Li
This chapter introduces the four sets of prerequisites for successful electronic commerce (e-commerce) development, including national factors... Sample PDF
Electronic Commerce in China: Can We Wake Up the Giant?
Chapter 17
Sherif Kamel
Emerging information and communication technology is driving transformation and change in the cyberspace. Speed, competition and globalization are... Sample PDF
Evolution of Electronic Procurement in Egypt: Case of Speedsend.com
Chapter 18
Borislav Jošanov, Marijana Vidas-Bubanja, Emilija Vuksanovic, Ejub Kajan, Bob Travica
The authors of this chapter constructed and published multidimensional model for the evaluation of e-commerce diffusion in any country. According to... Sample PDF
The State and Development of E-Commerce in Serbia
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