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Methodological investigation for enhancing the usability of university websites
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Informatics.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3331-9379
School of Systems, Management and Leadership, FEIT, University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo, Australia.
School of Systems, Management and Leadership, FEIT, University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo, Australia.
Center for Artificial Intelligence, School of Software, FEIT, University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo, Australia.
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2019 (English)In: Journal of Ambient Intelligence and Humanized Computing, ISSN 1868-5137, E-ISSN 1868-5145, Vol. 10, no 2, p. 531-549Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

For university websites to be successful and to increase the chance of converting a prospective student into a current student, it is necessary to increase the visibility and accessibility of all related content so that a student can achieve their desired task in the fastest possible time. The criteria for evaluating university websites are very vague and are usually unknown to most developers, which adversely impacts the user-experience of the students visiting such websites. To solve this problem, we devised a usability metric and examined the leading university websites to analyze whether these websites were able to meet the requirements of students. In this research, we applied qualitative and quantitative approaches by considering 300 students and evaluating 86 university websites (26 from Canada, 30 from the United States, and 30 from Europe) based on a six-attribute metric comprising navigation, organization, ease of use (simplicity), design (layout), communication and content. From the evaluation results, we find that the 88% of the students are satisfied with our proposed usability attributes, but that most universities fail to meet basic standards of usability as desired by the students. The findings also show that the usability evaluation score for each usability feature varies from country to country, such as for (1) multiple language support − 23% of the Canadian websites, 63% of the European websites and none of the USA websites has the feature; for (2) Scholarships/Funding/Financial Aid link − 24% of the Canadian websites, 80% of the European and the USA websites has the feature; for (3) admission link − 88% of the Canadian websites, 20% of the European websites and 90% of the USA websites has the feature. In addition, from the evaluative result we find that our proposed approach will not only increase the usability of academic websites but will also provide an easiest way to covert prospective student inquiries into enrollment opportunities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2019. Vol. 10, no 2, p. 531-549
Keywords [en]
Academic websites, Effective communication, Human computer interaction, University websites, Usability, Usability evaluation criteria, Usability metrics, User evaluation, User interface, Website quality, Quality control, Students, Usability engineering, User interfaces, Websites, Usability evaluation, User evaluations, Web Design
National Category
Computer Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-41267DOI: 10.1007/s12652-018-0686-6ISI: 000458118400010Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85049585920Local ID: IHHÖvrigtISOAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-41267DiVA, id: diva2:1242404
Available from: 2018-08-28 Created: 2018-08-28 Last updated: 2019-03-05Bibliographically approved

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Manzoor, Mirfa

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