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Social negotiations in web usability engineering

Martin, Ian; Kear, Karen; Simpkins, Neil and Busvine, John (2013). Social negotiations in web usability engineering. In: Garcia-Ruiz, Miguel A. ed. Cases on Usability Engineering: Design and Development of Digital Products. IGI Global , pp. 26–56.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.4018/978-1-4666-4046-7.ch002
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Abstract

This study of a website development project for a university athletic club illustrates how negotiations between designers and users play a fundamental role in defining website usability. Whilst usability can be ‘objectively’ measured using formal scales (number of clicks required, user effort or error rate to achieve an aim etc.), it may also be subjectively defined as the extent to which a website serves its intended audience. Usability engineering is therefore a social process involving interactions between users and designers that determine what is appropriate for a given context. Our case demonstrates the value of a ‘heterogeneous’ approach to website usability that involves engineering this context by negotiating the social alongside the technical. A strong stepwise website methodology that promotes early and continual user engagement – including sign-off of staged prototypes – is seen to be an important facilitating structure that carries these social negotiations forward through the web usability engineering lifecycle to successful project conclusion.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Copyright Holders: 2013 IGI Global
Keywords: usability; case study; web development; user-centred design
Academic Unit/Department: Mathematics, Computing and Technology > Computing & Communications
Mathematics, Computing and Technology
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Item ID: 35368
Depositing User: Karen Kear
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2012 10:07
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2014 11:59
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/35368
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