Title: An analytic hierarchy process model for evaluating and comparing website usability

Authors: Adrien Presley; Paul Fellows

Addresses: School of Business, Truman State University, 100 East Normal, Kirksville, MO 63501, USA ' School of Business, Truman State University, 100 East Normal, Kirksville, MO 63501, USA

Abstract: User acceptance of websites is a critical success factor for e-commerce firms. Usability has long been recognised as a major factor in the acceptance of websites but has been problematic in terms of formal analysis. This paper presents a usability analysis model based on the Microsoft usability guidelines (MUG). The model employs the analytic hierarchy process (AHP), a decision-making methodology that allows importance ranking to be determined and alternatives compared based on a set of multi-level criteria. AHP decomposes complex decisions into a hierarchy consisting of increasingly more detailed but easily comprehended sub-problems. The MUG provides a conceptualisation of usability based on five high-level criteria that are then broken down into 14 sub-criteria. It is proposed that the MUG naturally presents a hierarchy for system evaluation that can be structured and analysed using the AHP. This paper presents a model and demonstrates its use by comparing three financial information portals.

Keywords: modelling; usability evaluation; website comparisons; website usability; analytical hierarchy process; AHP; Microsoft usability guidelines; MUG; user acceptance; critical success factors; CSFs; e-commerce; electronic commerce; multicriteria decision making; MCDM; importance ranking; financial information portals.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBIS.2013.052047

International Journal of Business Information Systems, 2013 Vol.12 No.2, pp.123 - 139

Published online: 10 May 2013 *

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