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

Web Usability

Web Usability
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Author(s): Shirley Ann Becker (Florida Institute of Technology, USA)
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.ch651


View Web Usability on the publisher's website for pricing and purchasing information.


The study of computing technology and user interfaces was initiated during the 1970s when industrial research laboratories began to focus on human-computer interaction (HCI) (Badre, 2002). In the 1980s, the personal computer was introduced, thus expanding the need for designing effective user interfaces. HCI became a discipline during this time, and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) established the Special Interest Group in Computer Human Interaction. One of the first textbooks on HCI, Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction (Schneiderman, 19891), was published. Shortly thereafter, HCI became part of the ACM curriculum promoting the development of effective user interfaces. Software tools were developed in order to assist in designing usable interfaces while employing usability engineering methods. Many of these methods focused on usability from the perspective of ease of use, ease of learning, user satisfaction, and zero defects (Nielsen, 1993). The World Wide Web (Web) became an integral part of HCI research in the 1990s, as organizations rushed to deploy a corporate Web site. Many of these Web sites took advantage of cutting-edge technology, including graphics and animation, with little regard for the impact on the user. As a result, users became disgruntled by lengthy download times, complex navigation schemes, nonintuitive search mechanisms, and disorganized content.

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