A Human-Centered Usability Evaluation of University Websites Using SNECAAS Model

A Human-Centered Usability Evaluation of University Websites Using SNECAAS Model

Solomon Adelowo Adepoju (Department of Computer Science, Federal University of Technology Minna, Nigeria), Ishaq Oyebisi Oyefolahan (Department of Information and Media Technology, Federal University of Technology Minna, Nigeria), Muhammad Bashir Abdullahi (Department of Computer Science, Federal University of Technology Minna, Nigeria), Adamu Alhaji Mohammed (Department of Mathematics, Federal University of Technology Minna, Nigeria) and Motunrayo O. Ibiyo (Department of Computer Science, Federal University of Technology Minna, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1279-1.ch012


One of the ways universities ensure constant touch with the human populace is through their websites. Therefore, websites must be engaging, interactive, easy-to-use, and provide users with the necessary information needed. Unfortunately, most universities have found this objective quite difficult to achieve. This chapter presents an evaluation the usability of six Nigerian university websites using a model which is based on seven usability criteria of speed, ease of use, navigation, content, aesthetic, accessibility, and security. The best six university websites based on webometric ranking were selected for the study with 233 participants via an online questionnaire using Google Docs. The overall results of the evaluation indicate that the usability of Nigerian university websites performed fairly well in ease of use, navigation, and aesthetic, averagely on speed and content, while the ratings based on accessibility and security are not very satisfactory.
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Many users today depend much on web application as a result of continuous growth in internet which has transformed the world into virtual market. Hence, the need arises for a highly dependable web applications even in the midst of growing competition among organisations (Esmeria & Seva, 2017). Website of an organisation serves as an access to its information, services and products (Daher & Elkabani, 2012). Through websites, the company’s reach can be extended as it gives an overview of who, what and how the organisation carries out her activities. Therefore, website development process has to be done painstakingly and carefully in order to project the organisation properly.

One of the main aims of developing software application or website is to provide its users with a noble, satisfied and fulfilling services with good and exciting user experience (Boza, Schiaffino, Teyseyre, & Godoy, 2014). Among the myriads of organisation craving for good and usable websites usability is academic institutions in which universities belong. This class of websites is very important as it provides information for a wide category of audience like students, faculty, parents and many more (Adepoju & Shehu, 2014; Hasan, 2013; Nagpal, Mehrotra, Bhatia, & Sharma, 2015). The website of any academic institution plays a vital and prominent role in shaping its image. A university’s website is expected to provide adequate, correct and timely information about the university and its activities to various stakeholders. Apart from this, it is to serve as a communication medium between the institution and students, staff, alumni, and guest (Jabar, Usman, & Awal, 2013). Furthermore, websites have been found to be one of the most utilized internet resources among the various ICT facilities used in universities. This is in addition to email services and web (Egoeze, Misra, Akman, & Colomo-palacios, 2014)

So, the usability of this type of website is very important. In order to achieve this good user experience, a software application or website should then be easy to use and learn. This attribute is commonly referred to as usability (González, Lorés, & Granollers, 2008). This implies that a very satisfying and pleasing user experience is highly needed from these websites that are been developed by different higher institutions.

According to International Organization for Standardization (ISO 9241-11), usability can be defined as “the extent to which a product, service or system can be used by specified users to achieve a specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction in a specified context of use” (ISO, 2018). The user is the person who interact with the product (websites in this context), and the context of used refers to users, tasks, equipment (hardware, software and materials), and the physical and social environments in which a product. González et al.(2008) also indicated context of use to be “a picture of the actual state under which the interactive system or software application is being evaluated or is handled in normal functioning circumstances”.

Generally, evaluation of websites can be done by considering it from credibility (Deedam, Thomas, & Taylor, 2018), quality (Anusha & Rama, 2016; Dominic, Jati, & Hanim, 2013), functionality (Calisir, Gumussoy, Bayraktaroglu, & Saygivar, 2011), accessibility (Al-faries, Al-khalifa, Al-razgan, & Al-duwais, 2013) and usability (Chamba-Eras, Jacome-Galarza, Guaman-Quinche, Coronel-Romero, & Jaramillo, 2017; Kaur, Kaur, & Parminder, 2016) point of view. The various evaluation aims at determining and evaluating the performance of the websites based on the metric defined in the evaluation. However, usability is seen as the most important evaluation that could be evaluated especially for academic websites.

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