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PC303 E-Commerce

Published : 20-Sep,2021  |  Views : 10

Question:

In order to identify and prioritise the usability goals you might first consider identifying suitable use cases.  This should help you to identify the key interactions and user goals

Having set your usability specification you must then undertake the evaluation of the site and document the results.  You must clearly show which type of evaluation you have carried out.  (Eg, Observe and record users carrying out  specific tasks, questionnaire to survey  users attitudes towards the system) .

You must provide clear documentary evidence that demonstrates that an evaluation has been undertaken.  This might include, for example, a set of heuristics which were used, details of the task scenarios that were set and the results you obtained re user performance against your usability specifications or a questionnaire and the results of the user survey.  (NB For the purpose of this exercise, 5 users will be sufficient.)

Provide a critical evaluation of the site in the light of your evaluation.  In this section you should focus specifically on the key human factors elements that the design has or has not addressed. For example, physical and psychological factors. When completing this task clearly identify which aspects of the interface were good and which were bad making clear reference to how the general principles of interface design, particularly with respect to the design of web based systems, were being or were not being applied in the design of this system.  (Max 4 sides A4).

Use an appropriate high or low fidelity prototyping technique, for example, storyboarding, to enable you to give an indication to the client how you plan to modify the design to improve the usability of the interface.  You must clearly explain which Human Factor and interface design principles you are adopting to justify your design decisions. You can also justify the need for the proposed modifications by making references to the results that you obtained in the evaluation that you undertook.  Finally, provide a summary of the key recommendations you would make on how the site could be improved. (This can be a bullet point list.)

NB To obtain the highest marks in this part of the assignment your prototype needs to be a high fidelity prototype

Answer:

Justification for Investment

The design of a website plays a significant role in determining the success of an organization.  Mainly, this is because a website acts as a representation of the organization in general. For this reason, lack of a proper interaction and user interface renders the website useless in its bid to introduce the user to its organization. On the other hand, a good user interface allows for easy and efficient interaction for the user (Khuff, 2017). As a result, many browsers value interesting websites that possess intuitive user interfaces that guide them in performing their task in any engaging manner. In this regard, it is imperative for a company to invest in a quality web design and user interface as it easily attracts customers and propels online traffic.

Cost benefit analysis of a good user interface for Atari Best Electronics  

It is imperative to note that investment in a quality website would be very beneficial for Atari Best Electronics. Currently, the website interface and design is unattractive and complicated for the user. However, making it more and attractive and easier for its clients to use would significantly improve the traffic to the website and, in turn improve the profitability of the firm. Primarily, one of the most important benefits of a good UI is that it is easier for the user to navigate through the website and users would require minimum help to exploit it. In this regard, it reduces the number of clients that the firm losses owing to difficulties in using the website. Indeed, this would enhance the number of clients retained and, hence, enhance its profitability.

Additionally, investing in the project will significantly reduce the short production costs of the business. More specifically, the Atari electronics will save a lot of money in production costs by focusing on the development process of new and existing products. As such, if the website offers a platform for users to pinpoint faults in the products offered by the firm, then the firm can correct the same as early as possible. Subsequently, this leads to a reservation of the company’s reputation before any major damage occurs as regards to faulty company products. Usually, when the firm’s reputation suffers, its product’s reputation also suffers. Therefore, investing in an interactive UI will save the business a lot of money over the short-term.

In the same way, the investing in the project would lower the firm’s long term costs. More precisely, it will allow the business to spend less money on fixing problems that the users find as being unacceptable in the website. Instead, the firm would be able to spend more time in conducting improvements that would make its products and the lives of its customers better. Consequently, the firm would be able to invest in other projects instead of fixing problems associated with a poor website design. Over the long term period, the firm would save a lot of money, hence allowing it to expand its operations and become more profitable.

Regardless of the benefits, the firm will incur various costs to ensure that the project materializes into a success. Fundamentally, the firm will have to spend money on experts in human factors and usability to enhance the website. Approximately, the firm will part with a daily rate of $650 for a period of five days. Although this can be costly for the firm in the short run, the long term benefits associated with the new website would be manifold. In this regard, it is recommended that the firm should consider investing in the project. The benefits associated with the project significantly outweigh its costs.

An Analysis and Evaluation of Atari Best Electronics

The Attractiveness of the design

At first glance, the Atari Best Electronics website is unattractive and complicated.  Primarily, its user interface and design is highly intricate and complex, and the user might be tempted to log out of the sight. What is more, the graphics are poor and low quality. One may argue that the firm did not put much thought in the designing of the website. As a result, the firm may lose many potential clients as they are unable to navigate swiftly through the site. Furthermore, the organization of the various aspects and products offered by the firm are put in a disorganized manner. Generally, the website is poorly created.

Navigation

It is worth noting that navigating through the website is tedious and mind numbing. Ordinarily, navigation plays a major role in creating a memorable user experience, thereby allowing an extended stay on the website. Therefore, the poor navigation system on the website affects user engagement, thereby discouraging users. Thus, it is recommended that the firm should improve its navigation system to possess a distinct, simple and consistent steering. It should ensure that the site is visually separated in a manner that allows the user to find a particular thing.  It should include a menu button hat distinguishes between various texts. Menu links should also be included to help users to easily figure out their direction.

Overall Utility of the site

 In general, the usability of the site by a user is limited. Fundamentally, this is due to the fact that the initial web designer did not keep in mind its usability. By and large, usability pertains to the quality of users experience when interacting with the system. In most cases, this aspect is necessary for the website to be successful. As such, if the website is difficult to use, then visitors tend to leave (Nielsen, 2012). Likewise, when users get lost while navigating through the site, then they give up and look for another website that offers the same product. Notably, the overall utility of the Atari website is hindered by the fact that users cannot easily locate the information that they need, and are forced to leave the website. In turn, this becomes costly for the firm both in the long run and the short term period.

Usability goals

The first and second usability goal for the Atari website is speed and learnability. Primarily, this goal relates to the measure of how easy it is to learn the website and how fast it is for first time users to complete the task (Cao, 2013). Notably, the now level for this goal is extremely slow. At the moment, first time users take a long time to complete any activity on the website because its learnability is low. Everything is everywhere as it lacks a systematic mechanism. Therefore, learnability goal seeks to ensure that users can quickly and easily locate what they need in the website (“Usability Goals,” n.d.).  The threshold acceptance level is set at a few minutes after login into the website. The achievement of this goal would ensure that users can access the information instantaneously.

In the same view, the third goal pertains to the effectiveness in the website design. Largely, this is a measure of how well the website does what it is intended to do. For this goal, the now level indicates that the website is ineffective. In order to determine the effectiveness of the new design, the team shall consider how easily users can locate information they seek from the website (“Usability Goals,” n.d.).  In this case, we shall determine how users can easily complete their purchase. Primarily, this goal will be measured using task-completion rates.

Furthermore, the fourth goal is satisfaction. Profoundly, this goal seeks to determine how satisfied the visitors were while interacting with the website (Cao, 2013).  Currently, the satisfaction level is below average. To measure its achievement, the firm will use visitor ratings of the website. The ratings would range from one to five, with five indicating the highest level of satisfaction (“Usability Goals,” n.d.).  The acceptable satisfaction threshold is to be set at 3, and anything below that will indicate that the website remains unsatisfactory for its users.

The fifth goal is the accuracy level of the website. In this requirement, the designer seeks to reduce the number of attempts that a client makes to complete a particular task. As such, the company seeks to minimize the time wasted on the website due to making various unsuccessful attempts (“Usability Goals,” n.d.). The now level for this requirement indicates high level of inaccuracy. To measure the goal, the owner will use the average number of users who are able to complete the task on the first attempt.

On the other hand, the sixth goal focuses on the overall success of the website. In this goal, the team seeks to measure the percentage of visitors who successfully completed their intended tasks on the website (“Usability Goals,” n.d.).  Notably, the now level for this goal indicates a low overall success. In future, the attainment of the goal shall be measured in terms of the number of users who are able to find complete their task successfully. The acceptable rate is set at 95 percent of the users must report to have successfully completed a specified task on the website.

The seventh and eighth goals include returning users and memorability. Essentially, memorability is the measure of how quickly visitors can remember how to navigate through the website (“Usability Goals,” n.d.). The team intends to make the website memorable so that users can easily remember how to utilize its resources in the future (“Usability Goals,” n.d.).  In the same manner, the firm intends to increase the number of returning users on the site. Fundamentally, the attainment of this goal can be measured using the rate of return customers to the website.

Lastly, the ninth and tenth goal pertain to the utility and efficiency of the website. Primarily, utility seeks to measure the functionality of the website, and whether it offers exactly what its users seek (“Usability Goals,” n.d.). At the moment, the utility level of the website is below the acceptable threshold. This goal will be measured in terms of the overall functionality of the site. Lastly, efficiency is only achieved after the utility and effectiveness of the site has been established (“Usability Goals,” n.d.).

In order to complete the evaluation process and determine the now level of the website’s usability goal, the team conducted a simple user survey. Primarily, the survey involved observing and recording users carrying out specified tasks on the Atari website. The sample comprised of five individuals seeking to locate and purchase products from the website. From the survey, it was noted that all users encountered much difficulties in locating and purchasing the products they intended from the website.

Human factors in Atari’s Web Design

On the whole, the website failed to address many key human factors in its design. To begin with, the website failed to address the hierarchy. Noteworthy, visual hierarchy entails putting the elements that the firm intends the reader to see and percept first when they open the website. In this case, everything on the site looks the same and it is difficult for the user to distinguish important elements. In addition, the design failed to address the aspect of measure. Primarily, this concept refers to the width of text. Often, this aspect is put under consideration to allow the human eye to comfortably travel across the page and easily read its contents (Turnbull. 2011). On the website, the some texts are too long and interlock with each other in an unappealing manner.

Furthermore, the web designer failed to address the aspect of text alignment and scaling. Text alignment is important in making the text on the website appealing and readable. On the other hand, scaling is vital to allow the user to zoom in and out while manipulating data on the site (Shakuary, n.d.). In the same way, the design was unsuccessful in creating the appropriate weight of the text’s font. Using different forms of font weight is crucial in adding some subtle definition to the text and determining the importance of the text (Turnbull, 2011). However, in this case, the weight balance was generally poor.

Prototyping technique

For Atari website, a low fidelity prototyping-story boarding technique would be more appropriate. Mainly, this is because the prototype allows for client feedback that is relevant to the starting point of the project (Busche, 2014). It is also simple and less time consuming but allows for early visualization of the design solution to help provoke innovation and improvement. The storyboarding process will be done in stages. The first step involves defining the case and expressing the intended goals for the website and the success criteria (“Storyboarding,” n.d.). In the second step, a white board, and other sketching tools are used to create a storyboard prototype. At this point, PowerPoint is utilized to create the screen and illustrate the scenario that a user of the website would go through from the beginning to the end (“Storyboarding,” n.d.).  Afterwards, the storyboard prototype is evaluated using a usability evaluation technique like the heuristic evaluation expert view (“Prototyping,” n.d.). Lastly, the team iterates on the storyboard prototype until the success criteria is achieved.

Key Recommendations to improve the site

  • Atari electronics should balance its page. Fundamentally, a good layout will make the page easier to read and navigate through the page.
  • Keep the webpage simple by removing all the unnecessary visual elements. In turn, this would aloe the important items on the website to stand out.
  • Fix the fonts on the website. The size of the font is important in improving the readability of the content on the page.
  • Create a toolbar with links to allow visitors to easily navigate through the page. Ensure that the toolbar is positioned in an area that is easily visible to the user.

Reference:

Atari Best Electronics. [Online] Atari Best Electronics. Available at: http://www.best-electronics-ca.com/ [Accessed 27 August 2017].

Busche, L. (2014). The Skeptic’s Guide To Low-Fidelity Prototyping. [Online] Smashing Magazine. Available at: https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2014/10/the-skeptics-guide-to-low-fidelity-prototyping/ [Accessed 27 August 2017].

Cao, J. (2013). Usability Testing Goals: Knowing ‘Why’ Before ‘How’. [Online] Site Point. Available at: https://www.sitepoint.com/usability-testing-goals-knowing/ [Accessed 27 August 2017].

High Fidelity vs Low Fidelity Prototyping in Web Design and App Development (2014). [Online] At Large Inc. Available at: http://www.atlargeinc.com/insights/high-fidelity-vs-low-fidelity-prototyping-web-design-and-app-development [Accessed 27 August 2017].

Khuff, C. (2017). The Importance of Good User Interface Design. [Online] Wolters Kluwer. Available at: http://www.teammatesolutions.com/the-importance-of-good-user-interface-design.aspx [Accessed 27 August 2017].

Low Fidelity Prototyping: The Cheapest Corrections in Design Stage Ever!. [Online] Infosec Institute. Available at: http://resources.infosecinstitute.com/prototyping/ [Accessed 27 August 2017].

Prototyping. [Online] Usability.gov. Available at: https://www.usability.gov/how-to-and-tools/methods/prototyping.html [Accessed 27 August 2017].

Shukairy, A. 9 Ways To Improve Bad Website Design. [Online] Readability Formulas. Available at: http://www.readabilityformulas.com/articles/eight-ways-to-improve-bad-website-design.php [Accessed 27 August 2017].

Storyboarding [Online] Virtual Web Design. Available at: http://www.virtualwebdesign.ca/html/storyboarding.html [Accessed 27 August 2017].

Turnbull, C. (2011). Eight Important Factors of Good Web Typography. [Online] Evanto Tuts. Available at: https://webdesign.tutsplus.com/articles/eight-important-factors-of-good-web-typography--webdesign-3207 [Accessed 27 August 2017].

Usability Goals: Effectiveness in Website Design [Online] Affordable Usability. Available at: http://www.affordableusability.com/usability/effectiveness.html [Accessed 27 August 2017].

Usability Goals: Efficiency of Website Designs [Online] Affordable Usability. Available at: http://www.affordableusability.com/usability/efficiency.html [Accessed 27 August 2017].

Usability Goals: Learnability of Websites Designed [Online] Affordable Usability. Available at: http://www.affordableusability.com/usability/learnability.html [Accessed 27 August 2017].

Usability Goals: Memorability of a Website [Online] Affordable Usability. Available at: http://www.affordableusability.com/usability/memorability.html [Accessed 27 August 2017].

With Measurable Usability Goals – We All Score [Online] Usability.gov. Available at: https://www.usability.gov/get-involved/blog/2013/09/measurable-usability-goals.html [Accessed 27 August 2017].

With Measurable Usability Goals – We All Score [Online] Usability.gov. Available at: https://www.usability.gov/get-involved/blog/2013/09/measurable-usability-goals.html [Accessed 27 August 2017].

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