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Designing for Web Site Usability
July 2002 (vol. 35 no. 7)
pp. 102-103
Jonathan Palmer, College of William & Mary

Despite its highly touted capabilities,the World Wide Web continues to generate substantialfrustration among users. The difficulty locating pertinent information,delays in downloadingcontent, and the need to sort through numerous hits for a single query can be overwhelming. Web sites also differ dramatically in their level of sophistication, ranging from heavilytext-based formats to sites replete with video, audio, and 3D graphics.

A crucial element in Web site success is usability, the ease or difficulty users experience with online systems and processes. According to a recent study I conducted of 750 corporate Web sites ("Web Site Usabality, Design, and Performance Metrics," Information Systems Research,June 2002, pp. 151-167), businesses whose homepages address usability and incorporate other essential design criteria report higher traffic,more repeat visitors, and greater customer satisfaction.

Jonathan Palmer, "Designing for Web Site Usability," Computer, vol. 35, no. 7, pp. 102-103, July 2002, doi:10.1109/MC.2002.1016906
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