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Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Audience-Drive Design Approach for Web Systems

Audience-Drive Design Approach for Web Systems
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Author(s): Olga De Troyer (WISE Research Group, Belgium)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 5
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch047


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In the last years, Web systems have evolved from a simple collection of hypertext pages toward applications supporting complex (business) applications, offering (rapidly changing) information and functionality to a highly diversified audience. Although it is still easy to publish a couple of pages, it is now recognized that appropriate Web design methods are needed to develop more complex Web sites and applications (generally called Web systems). In the past, Web systems were created opportunistically without prior planning or analysis, and without any regard for methodology, resulting in Web systems that were lacking consistency in structure, navigation, and presentation, and were not transparent. A lot of these systems were also suffering from the classical maintenance problems and development backlog. In the same period, Web technology evolved at an equally dazzling rate enabling more advanced Web applications, but with the unfavorable consequence that Web development is no longer simple and easy. The latest developments in the field of the Web are related to the vision of the Semantic Web: an extension of the current Web in which information is given well-defined meaning, better enabling computers, and people to work in cooperation (Berners-Lee, Hendler, & Lassila, 2001). Together with the Web, a new problem unknown in classical information systems emerged: competition for the visitor’s attention. Especially for commercial Web systems, it is important to hold the interest of the visitors and to keep them coming back. As stated by usability expert Nielsen (2000, p. 9), “all the competitors in the world are but a mouse click away.” Much more than in “classical” software systems, the usability of Web systems is a primary factor for their success.

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