Evaluation of South African Universities’ Web Portal Interfaces using a Triangulation of Ubiquitous Computing Evaluation Areas and Technology Acceptance Model

Evaluation of South African Universities’ Web Portal Interfaces using a Triangulation of Ubiquitous Computing Evaluation Areas and Technology Acceptance Model

Vathiswa M. Booi (Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa) and George E.M. Ditsa (Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4566-0.ch008
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Abstract

There are growing concerns over the user friendliness and other usability issues of South African Universities’ Web Portal Interfaces (UWPIs), which obviously will negate the user acceptance of the UWPIs. The main goal of this study is to develop a framework that could be used to evaluate and provide additional guidelines to improve the Usability and User Acceptance of South African UWPIs. The study applies a triangulation of Ubiquitous computing Evaluation Areas (UEAs) and the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) as theoretical foundations to derive the research model. Multiple regression and stepwise regression analyses are used. The results suggest that Interaction and Invisibility of UWPIs are the most important measures that have a huge impact on user acceptance and usability, respectively. The results of the study provide guidelines for the design and development of South Africa UWPIs to meet their usability and user acceptance.
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Background

Computer System Websites and Interfaces can only add value to institutions or individuals if the systems are usable and acceptable. In his work, Nielson (1993) defines usability as a quality characteristic that measures how easy the user interfaces are for the user to use. A well-defined definition from the International Standard Organization (ISO 9241-11, 2006) defines usability as the effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction of user requirements. Usability is intended to provide guidance to the following types of users: interface designers, who are expected to apply it during the development process; developers, who are expected to apply it during the design and implementation of system functionalities; evaluators, who are to be responsible for ensuring that products meet their recommendations and buyers are also highlighted, as they are expected to reference it during product procurement.

In their work, Nielson (1993) and Kamarulzaman (2005) state that system acceptability describes whether the system or application satisfies all needs and requirements of all stakeholders. Dillon (2001) describes user acceptance as the demonstrable preparedness within a group of users to use information technology for the preferred task. Winkler (2001) and Manouselis & Sampson (2004) explain that Web Portal is a term that is used to refer to Internet search and navigation sites that provides the starting point for Web visitors to explore and access information on the World Wide Web (WWW). The Internet Portal or Web Portal and their interfaces are described by IBM (2000) as ubiquitous, which means being or seeming to be present anytime, anywhere.

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