Usability Review of Corporate Websites: Case of Product Versus Service Sectors in Malaysia

Usability Review of Corporate Websites: Case of Product Versus Service Sectors in Malaysia

Robert Jeyakumar Nathan (Multimedia University, Faculty of Business and Law, Melaka, Malaysia), Ibrahim Musah (Multimedia University, Melaka, Malaysia) and Guru Dhillon (Multimedia University, Melaka, Malaysia)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/IJTD.2017040103

Abstract

Marketing and electronic commerce literature abound in criteria that contribute to the success of an online marketing website. Collectively the factors that contribute to the success of a website are known as the usability factors of websites. This chapter discusses seven of these usability factors that affect the Overall Web Usability (OWU), mainly examining the online industry in Malaysia. The extent of online security technology used, users' perception of online safety and security is also discussed. The chapter presents a comparative review of usability evaluations of websites from industries promoting and selling products online, versus websites of industries those promoting and selling services online. It presents a critical review of product-based websites usability versus service-based websites usability.
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Introduction

The internet is a widespread information infrastructure which has massive impact in the daily life of people across the world. This is even more prevalent in business. Online marketing has become one of the vital ways to advertise a company’s products and services. While some internet giants conduct businesses purely in the virtual arena such as eBay and Alibaba. According to the International Telecommunication Union, the number of internet user in Europe and America increased 4-fold (Acharya & Albertini, 2014). Whereas, Asia increased about 6-fold in year 2015 as compared to the previous year. The Internet World Statistic indicates the number of Malaysian internet users grew dramatically from 15% to 68.6% in the year 2000 to year 2016 (Internetlivestats, 2016). This figure portrays the large influence of the Internet in the daily life of individuals and consumers.

Internet marketing is a pull medium. Conversely, other public medias such as television and radio push the marketing message to the reluctant recipients by interrupting their shows. These activities stimulate businesses to capture the online platform to promote their businesses. The effectiveness of online marketing of websites, however, can be differentiated from one business to another. Where in some cases internet marketing were successful while not so successful in others. The ultimate goal is to develop a marketing website that can draw consumers' attention and achieve goals for increase online sales. Thus, web usability are those qualitative elements which allow users to easily, quickly and efficiently browse the content and fine what there are searching for.

Marketing and electronic commerce literatures abound in criteria that contribute to the success of an online marketing website. Collectively, the factors that contribute to the success of a website are known as the usability factors of websites. This chapter discusses seven of these usability factors that affect the Overall Web Usability of some selected products and service web base industries (OWU). Firstly, Clarity of Goals in Website (CGW) refers to the degree that a website makes its goals clear and understandable to the intended audience. This is important in determining key objective for the website because it can help in generating income to the business. The website design must be aimed at attracting the maximum number of users, visitors, branding and generating transaction.

Secondly, Downloading Speed of Website (DSOW) refers to the amount of time taken to download a webpage. This plays a key role in the usability of the website. Internet users and a potential online customer have no time to wait for websites to download. Most users expect instant access to information access, hence waiting is not desirable. Thirdly, Ease of Web Navigation (EWN) means the extent of ease of navigating in a website. It relates to the website’s layout and structure, as well as navigational tools such as site map, site search, directory, and properly working hyperlinks. Followed by, Interactivity of Website (IOW) which means the extent to which users are able to conduct two-way interaction with a website. It relates to the responsiveness of a website to users’ actions within the website such as when users give feedback, changing quotations, online service selections, etc.

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