Best practice in design and evaluation of web sites.

AuthorHatcher, Myron Edwin

    The schema is composed of three parts that reflects a situational approach to best practice. The first part is decision making both by the web site and by the end user. The second set of questions is about the structure of the web site. The third component is about information systems concepts. These include critical success factors, the input process output model, networking, competitive advantage, strategies for achieving competitive advantage, competitive disadvantage, competitive necessity, threats to competitive advantage, value chain analysis, critical data, and critique recommendation and future.

    Best Practice taken on the uniqueness of the end user, environment and the situation. If aesthetics are important then balance, harmony, unity, simplicity, consistency and design clarity are important. The ultimate end user shapes the web site and best practice. Situations will be dictated by the web tools available and web design practices. Social networking has created a new focus with database integration at the center. Uniqueness of the business cultures such as service orientated architecture shifts the best practice to model integration. In all cases web site design and development are driven by site generation and code generation software.


    Best practice takes on many meanings and forms. It depends upon the end user target audience, situation or environment and the perspective of the design and development team. Best practice approach for National Public Radio, PBS, (Veen and Smith, 2003) results in a prototype of a web page and a best practice guide. Given that PBS network is an organization of independent stations, only suggestions could be provided. Tutorials, step by step guide for changes, download temples, etc. was provided. Contributions were printed best practices report, working prototypes, iterative changes method, detailed interface templates, etc.

    As web sites move from content providers to solving complex problems, the expectations of the web site changes. With the growing of need for improved health care, (Sharit, Hernandez, Nair, Kuhn, and Czaja, 2011) web sites have taken on new purpose and consequently new best practice. Tailoring to the target audience and the decision process generates a framework and methodology for web site design.

    Results using visualization techniques (Chau, 2011) increase the information comprehension for end users. Decision Support offers animation, imaging, and colorization to communicate knowledge. Experimental results show when complexity was low, a numeric display or combined image and numeric display performed better. When task complexity was high, an image display alone or combined image and numeric display performed better.

    Web 2 technologies can direct the development of web sites and what is achieving best practice. Web 2 technologies (Dagiene and Kurilovas, 2010) were successfully applied in the European Best Practices Networks and Communities. This includes platforms for content development and their sharing.

    Best Practice can be dictated by design patterns or concepts and the measures are influenced by content desired. Web sites have evolved (Ivory and Megraw, 2005). After review of 1500 sites three patterns emerge, descriptions of design patterns in each time period, change in design patterns across time periods, and comparison of design patterns to what is recommended. Design parameters of evaluation metrics influence (Schaik, and Ling, 2007) the perceived quality. Considering disorientation, perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness and flow, the results were influenced by presentation of metric.

    Social networking tools are important and Best Practice changes accordingly. Third parties are developing applications that use Twitter. (Jones and Potts, 2010) What are the best practices that should guide this research and development? They include design of experiences in social media and third party applications. The research indicated a general need for social media platforms to adapt to various activities of participants and simultaneously integrate activities from outside the social media platform. Content must be useable by modifying it and sending it to others.

    Social networking leads to data driven web sites and the complexity of back end database. In going from the logical design to physical design for web site design...

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