|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 47|
Websites are becoming a major component of an organization’s success in our ever globalizing competitive world. The website symbolizes an organization, interacting or projecting an organization’s principles, culture, values, vision, and perspectives. It is an interface connecting organizations and their clients. The university, as an academic institution, makes use of a website to communicate and offer computing services to its stakeholders (students, staff, host community, university management etc). Unfortunately, website designers often give more consideration to the technology, organizational structure and business objectives of the university than to the usability of the site. Website designers end up designing university websites which do not meet the needs of the primary users. This empirical study investigated the Benue State University website from the point view of students. This research was realized by using a standardized website usability questionnaire based on the five factors of usability defined by WAMMI (Website Analysis and Measurement Inventory): attractiveness, controllability, efficiency, learnability and helpfulness. The result of the investigation showed that the university website (https://portal.bsum.edu.ng/) has neutral usability level because of the usability issues associated with the website. The research recommended feasible solutions to improve the usability of the website from the users’ perspective and also provided a modified usability model that will be used for better evaluation of the Benue State University website.
Usability is one of the most important quality attributes for web-based information systems. Specifically, for e-commerce applications, usability becomes more prominent. In this study, we aimed to explore the features that experienced users seek in e-commerce applications. We used eye tracking method in evaluations. Eye movement data are obtained from the eye-tracking method and analyzed based on task completion time, number of fixations, as well as heat map and gaze plot measures. The results of the analysis show that the eye movements of participants' are too static in certain areas and their areas of interest are scattered in many different places. It has been determined that this causes users to fail to complete their transactions. According to the findings, we outlined the issues to improve the usability of e-commerce websites. Then we propose solutions to identify the issues. In this way, it is expected that e-commerce sites will be developed which will make experienced users more satisfied.
Usability testing (UT) is one of the vital steps in the User-centred design (UCD) process when designing a product. In an e-commerce ecosystem, UT becomes primary as new products, features, and services are launched very frequently. And, there are losses attached to the company if an unusable and inefficient product is put out to market and is rejected by customers. This paper tries to answer why UT is important in the product life-cycle of an E-commerce ecosystem. Secondary user research was conducted to find out work patterns, development methods, type of stakeholders, and technology constraints, etc. of a typical E-commerce company. Qualitative user interviews were conducted with product managers and designers to find out the structure, project planning, product management method and role of the design team in a mid-level company. The paper tries to address the usual apprehensions of the company to inculcate UT within the team. As well, it stresses upon factors like monetary resources, lack of usability expert, narrow timelines, and lack of understanding of higher management as some primary reasons. Outsourcing UT to vendors is also very prevalent with mid-level e-commerce companies, but it has its own severe repercussions like very little team involvement, huge cost, misinterpretation of the findings, elongated timelines, and lack of empathy towards the customer, etc. The shortfalls of the unavailability of a UT process in place within the team and conducting UT through vendors are bad user experiences for customers while interacting with the product, badly designed products which are neither useful and nor utilitarian. As a result, companies see dipping conversions rates in apps and websites, huge bounce rates and increased uninstall rates. Thus, there was a need for a more lean UT system in place which could solve all these issues for the company. This paper highlights on optimizing the UT process with a collaborative method. The degree of optimization and structure of collaborative method is the highlight of this paper. Collaborative method of UT is one in which the centralised design team of the company takes for conducting and analysing the UT. The UT is usually a formative kind where designers take findings into account and uses in the ideation process. The success of collaborative method of UT is due to its ability to sync with the product management method employed by the company or team. The collaborative methods focus on engaging various teams (design, marketing, product, administration, IT, etc.) each with its own defined roles and responsibility in conducting a smooth UT with users In-house. The paper finally highlights the positive results of collaborative UT method after conducting more than 100 In-lab interviews with users across the different lines of businesses. Some of which are the improvement of interaction between stakeholders and the design team, empathy towards users, improved design iteration, better sanity check of design solutions, optimization of time and money, effective and efficient design solution. The future scope of collaborative UT is to make this method leaner, by reducing the number of days to complete the entire project starting from planning between teams to publishing the UT report.
An online performance management system was evaluated, and recommendations were made to improve the system. The study shows the effects of not adhering to the established web design principles and conventions. Furthermore, the study indicates that if the online performance management system is not well designed, it may have negative effects on the overall usability of the system and these negative effects will have consequences for both the employer and employees. The evaluation was done in terms of the usability metrics of effectiveness, efficiency and user satisfaction. Effectiveness was measured in terms of the success rate with which users could execute prescribed tasks in a sandbox system. Efficiency was expressed in terms of the time it took participants to understand what is expected of them and to execute the tasks. Post-test questionnaires were used in order to determine the satisfaction of the participants. Recommendations were made to improve the usability of the online performance management system.
Creative industries’ workers are becoming more prominent as countries move towards intellectual-based economies. Consequently, the nature and essence of the workplace needs to be reconfigured so that creativity and productivity can be better promoted at these spaces. Using a multidisciplinary approach and a user-centered methodology, combining product design, electronic engineering, software and human-computer interaction, we have designed and developed a new seat that uses embedded sensors and actuators to increase the overall well-being of its users, their productivity and their creativity. Our contribution focuses on the parameters that most affect the user’s work on these kinds of spaces, which are, according to our study, noise and temperature. We describe the design process for a new interactive seat targeted at improving workspace productivity.
Usability testing with children is similar in many aspects to usability testing with adults. However, there are a few differences that one needs to be aware of in order to get the most out of the sessions, and to ensure that children are comfortable and enjoying the process. This paper presents the need to acquire methodological knowledge for involving children as test users in usability testing, with consideration on Piaget’s theory of cognitive growth. As a case study, we use BatiKids, an application developed to evoke children’s enthusiasm to be involved in culture heritage preservation. The usability test was applied to 24 children from 9 to 10 years old. The children were divided into two groups; one interacted with the application through a graphic tablet with pen, and the other through touch screen. Both of the groups had to accomplish the same amount of tasks. In the end, children were asked to give feedback. The results suggested that children who interacted using the graphic tablet with pen had more difficulties rather than children who interacted through touch screen. However, the difficulty brought by the graphic tablet with pen is an important learning objective in order to understand the difficulties of using canting, which is an important part of batik.
As we know, number of Internet users are increasing drastically. Now, people are using different online services provided by banks, colleges/schools, hospitals, online utility, bill payment and online shopping sites. To access online services, text-based authentication system is in use. The text-based authentication scheme faces some drawbacks with usability and security issues that bring troubles to users. The core element of computational trust is identity. The aim of the paper is to make the system more compliable for the imposters and more reliable for the users, by using the graphical authentication approach. In this paper, we are using the more powerful tool of encoding the options in graphical QR format and also there will be the acknowledgment which will send to the user’s mobile for final verification. The main methodology depends upon the encryption option and final verification by confirming a set of pass phrase on the legal users, the outcome of the result is very powerful as it only gives the result at once when the process is successfully done. All processes are cross linked serially as the output of the 1st process, is the input of the 2nd and so on. The system is a combination of recognition and pure recall based technique. Presented scheme is useful for devices like PDAs, iPod, phone etc. which are more handy and convenient to use than traditional desktop computer systems.
The feedbacks obtained regarding the sense of presence from pilot users operating a Mobile Robotic presence (MRP) system to visit a simulated museum are reported in this paper. The aim is to investigate how much the perception of system’s usefulness and ease of use is affected by operators’ sense of social telepresence (presence) in the remote location. Therefore, scenarios of visiting a museum are simulated and the user operators are supposed to perform some regular tasks inside the remote environment including interaction with local users, navigation and visiting the artworks. Participants were divided into two groups, those who had previous experience of operation and interaction with a MRP system and those who never had experience. Based on the results, both groups provided different feedbacks. Moreover, there was a significant association between user’s sense of presence and their perception of system usefulness and ease of use.
Most quality models have defined usability as a significant factor that leads to improving product acceptability, increasing user satisfaction, improving product reliability, and also financially benefitting companies. Usability is also the best factor that balances both the technical and human aspects of a software product, which is an important aspect in defining quality during software development process. A usability risk consist risk factors that could impact the usability of a software product thereby contributing to negative user experiences and causing a possible software product failure. Hence, it is important to mitigate and reduce usability risks in the software development process itself. By managing possible usability risks in software development process, failure of software product could be reduced. Therefore, this research uses the Delphi method to identify mitigation plans for reducing potential usability risks. The Delphi method is conducted with seven experts from the field of risk management and software development.
Software reusability is an essential characteristic of Component-Based Software (CBS). The component reusability is an important assess for the effective reuse of components in CBS. The attributes of reusability proposed by various researchers are studied and four of them are identified as potential factors affecting reusability. This paper proposes metric for reusability estimation of black-box software component along with metrics for Interface Complexity, Understandability, Customizability and Reliability. An experiment is performed for estimation of reusability through a case study on a sample web application using a real world component.
The importance of the formal specification in the software life cycle is barely concealing to anyone. Formal specifications use mathematical notation to describe the properties of information system precisely, without unduly constraining the way in how these properties are achieved. Having a correct and quality software specification is not easy task. This study concerns with how a group of rectifiers can communicate with each other and work to prepare and produce a correct formal software specification. WBCS has been implemented based mainly in the proposed supported cooperative work model and a survey conducted on the existing Webbased collaborative writing tools. This paper aims to assess the feasibility of executing the web-based collaboration process using WBCS. The purpose of conducting this test is to test the system as a whole for functionality and fitness for use based on the evaluation test plan.
The abnormal increase in the number of applications available for download in Android markets is a good indication that they are being reused. However, little is known about their real reusability potential. A considerable amount of these applications is reported as having a poor quality or being malicious. Hence, in this paper, an approach to measure the reusability potential of classes in Android applications is proposed. The approach is not meant specifically for this particular type of applications. Rather, it is intended for Object-Oriented (OO) software systems in general and aims also to provide means to discard the classes of low quality and defect prone applications from being reused directly through inheritance and instantiation. An empirical investigation is conducted to measure and rank the reusability potential of the classes of randomly selected Android applications. The results obtained are thoroughly analyzed in order to understand the extent of this potential and the factors influencing it.
In this era of globalization, adoption of technology is quite difficult for people with physical disabilities compared to people with normal abilities. The advancement in mobile based accessible applications have opened up several different avenues for the visually challenged across the globe. Smartphones applications are not very common for blind people, but they access and use these applications in their daily lives to some extent. Several smartphone applications have a number of usability issues for the visually impaired. In this paper, we evaluate the usability of various android & iPhone applications for blind people through analysis and surveys. This paper aspires to provide guidance in order to increase smartphone application accessibility for the visually impaired. An abstract application design is also proposed to overcome usability issues in smartphone applications for visually challenged people.
A large amount of software products offer a wide range and number of features. This is called featuritis or creeping featurism and tends to rise with each release of the product. Feautiris often adds unnecessary complexity to software, leading to longer learning curves and overall confusing the users and degrading their experience. We take a look to a new design approach tendency that has been coming up, the so-called “What You Get is What You Need” concept that argues that products should be very focused, simple and with minimalistic interfaces in order to help users conduct their tasks in distraction-free ambiences. This isn’t as simple to implement as it might sound and the developers need to cut down features. Our contribution illustrates and evaluates this design method through a novel distraction-free diagramming tool named Delineato Pro for Mac OS X in which the user is confronted with an empty canvas when launching the software and where tools only show up when really needed.
A commercially-supported social network has become an emerging channel for an organization to communicate with and provide services to customers. The success of the commercially-supported social network depends on the ability of the organization to keep the customers in participating in the network. Drawing from the theories of information adoption, information systems continuance, and web usability, the author develops a model to explore how a commercially-supported social network can encourage customers to continue participating and using the information in the network. The theoretical model will be proved through an online survey of customers using the commercially-supported social networking sites of several high technology companies operating in the same sector. The result will be compared with previous studies to learn about the explanatory power of the research model, and to identify the main factors determining users’ intention to continue using a commercially-supported social network. Theoretical and practical implications and limitations are discussed.
Usability is an important software quality that is often neglected at the design stage. Although methods exist to incorporate elements of usability engineering, there is a need for more balanced usability focused methods that can enhance the experience of software usability for users. In this regard, the potential for Usage-Centred Design is explored with respect to requirements gathering and is shown to lead to high software usability besides other benefits. It achieves this through its focus on usage, defining essential use cases, by conducting task modeling, encouraging user collaboration, refining requirements, and so on. The requirements gathering process in UgCD is described in detail.
It is well-known as Fitts’ law that the time for a user to point a target on a GUI screen can be modeled as a linear function of “index of difficulty (ID).” In this paper, the authors investigate whether the traditional ID formulation is appropriate independently of device screen sizes. Result of our experiment reveals that the ID formulation may not consistently capture actual difficulty: users’ pointing performances are not consistent among pointing target variations of which index of difficulty are consistent. The term A/W may not be appropriate because the term causes the observed inconsistency. Based on this finding, the authors then evaluate the applicability of possible models other than Fitts’ one. Multiple regression models are found to be able to appropriately represent the effects of target design variations. The authors next make an attempt to improve the definition of ID in Fitts’ model. Our idea is to raise the size or the distance values depending on the screen size. The modified model is found to fit well to the users’ pointing data, which supports the idea.
The website developer and designer should follow usability guidelines to provide a user-friendly interface. Many guidelines and heuristics have been developed by previous studies to help both the developer and designer in this task, but E-government websites are special cases that require specialized guidelines. This paper introduces a set of 18 guidelines for evaluating the usability of e-government websites in general and Arabic e-government websites specifically, along with a check list of how to apply them. The validity and effectiveness of these guidelines were evaluated against a variety of user characteristics. The results indicated that the proposed set of guidelines can be used to identify qualitative similarities and differences with user testing and that the new set is best suited for evaluating general and e-governmental usability.
User-Centered Design (UCD), Usability Engineering (UE) and Participatory Design (PD) are the common Human- Computer Interaction (HCI) approaches that are practiced in the software development process, focusing towards issues and matters concerning user involvement. It overlooks the organizational perspective of HCI integration within the software development organization. The Management Information Systems (MIS) perspective of HCI takes a managerial and organizational context to view the effectiveness of integrating HCI in the software development process. The Human-Centered Design (HCD) which encompasses all of the human aspects including aesthetic and ergonomic, is claimed as to provide a better approach in strengthening the HCI approaches to strengthen the software development process. In determining the effectiveness of HCD in the software development process, this paper presents the findings of a content analysis of HCI approaches by viewing those approaches as a technology which integrates user requirements, ranging from the top management to other stake holder in the software development process. The findings obtained show that HCD approach is a technology that emphasizes on human, tools and knowledge in strengthening the HCI approaches to strengthen the software development process in the quest to produce a sustainable, usable and useful software product.
Meeting users- requirements is one of predictors of project success. There should be a match between the expectations of the users and the perception of key project personnel with respect to usability and functionality. The aim of this study is to make a comparison of key project personnel-s and potential users- (customer representatives) evaluations of the relative importance of usability and functionality factors in a software design project. Analytical Network Process (ANP) was used to analyze the relative importance of the factors. The results show that navigation and interaction are the most significant factors,andsatisfaction and efficiency are the least important factors for both groups. Further, it can be concluded that having similar orders and scores of usability and functionality factors for both groups shows that key project personnel have captured the expectations and requirements of potential users accurately.