Title: The usability of websites for knowledge acquisition: a taxonomy of influences

Authors: Xiang Fang, Clyde W. Holsapple

Addresses: Richard T. Farmer School of Business Administration, Miami University, Oxford, OH 45056 USA. School of Management, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506-0034, USA

Abstract: Electronic commerce is concerned with initiatives for achieving business objectives via computer/communication technologies to manage knowledge in and across value chains. One main purpose of a website is to enable or facilitate acquisition of knowledge by both its users and its sponsor. How to design a website to maximise its usability for acquiring knowledge is an important question, one whose answer is significant for a firm|s knowledge management competitiveness in the electronic commerce era. Although design tips/guidelines exist, there has so far been little systematic, formal research into the issue of what features a website should exhibit in order to be highly usable for acquiring knowledge. As a foundation for conducting such research, this paper introduces a relatively comprehensive taxonomy that characterises the main elements that influence usability of a website designed for knowledge acquisition. A sample research model based on these elements is described.

Keywords: environment features; knowledge acquisition; navigation structure; sponsor features; system features; task features; taxonomy; usability; user features; website design.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEB.2003.002174

International Journal of Electronic Business, 2003 Vol.1 No.2, pp.211-224

Published online: 21 Jul 2003 *

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