Web Usability

Despite the growing attention given to web usability, little is understood as to what web design features contribute to web user's attitude, a major component of the usability of a website (Teo et al. 2003)
Website usability is concerned with how easy and intuitive it is for individuals to learn to use and interact with a website. It is a measure of the quality of a website's presence, as perceived by users. The usability of a website is important because high usability is associated with a positive attitude towards the website and results in higher online transactions. Poorly designed websites with low usability on the other hand lead to negative financial impacts. Existing approaches to website usability include measurement and tracking of parameters such as response time and task completion time and software engineering approaches that specify general usability guidelines and common practices during software development(Tarafdar & Zhang 2005)
Website quality has a direct positive impact on customer satisfaction and customer satisfaction has a direct positive impact on purchase intentions. While the influence of website quality on purchase intentions exists, customer satisfaction does significantly mediate this effect(Bai, Law & Wen 2008)
The trust of a user increases when a user perceives that the system is usable and results to a consequent increase in the degree of website loyalty. In the same way greater usability has a positive influence on user satisfaction and this also generates website loyalty. A user's trust is partially dependent on the degree of consumer website satisfaction(Flavi??n, Guinal??u & Gurrea 2006)

Variations in the cognitive style of web designers as reflected in the web content they design may create cultural biases that can be detected at the level of web design and can be measured in the degree of efficiency and comfort with which cross-cultural users engage in online content. Websites created by designers from cultures other than those of the users would cause those users more difficulty in finding information, reading text, navigating and therefore will produce an overall sense of uneasiness with the usability and aesthetic aspects of the site. However difficulties experienced by the users would not be assigned to the potentially low quality of the site's design but rather to the cultural cognitive style employed by the designer. Cognitive differences at design level exist in the form of cultural styles that are perceptible to users.
As web development continues to proliferate and users becoming increasingly dependent on effective online communication, researchers should move away from homogenous design models and routine time-on-task usability testing and device test models that can account for cultural cognition and the influence of cultural context on the cognitive style of web site designers. Web technology developers should increasingly take into account the complexity of the cognitive apparatus that intersects with cultural dimensions, including human-like responses that users often seek when engaging interactive systems.(Faiola & Matei 2005)
REFERENCES
BAI, B., R. LAW and I. WEN 2008. The impact of website quality on customer satisfaction and purchase intentions: Evidence from Chinese online visitors. International Journal of Hospitality Management. 27(3),pp.391'402.
FAIOLA, A. and S.A. MATEI 2005. Cultural Cognitive Style and Web Design: Beyond a Behavioral Inquiry into Computer-Mediated Communication. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. 11(1),pp.375'394.
FLAVI??N, C., M. GUINAL??U and R. GURREA 2006. The role played by perceived usability, satisfaction and consumer trust on website loyalty. Information & Management. 43(1),pp.1'14.
TARAFDAR, M. and J. ('Jennifer') ZHANG 2005. Analyzing the Influence of Web Site Design Parameters on Web Site Usability: Information Resources Management Journal. 18(4),pp.62'80.
TEO, H.-H. et al. 2003. An empirical study of the effects of interactivity on web user attitude. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies. 58(3),pp.281'305.

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