CEC Theses and Dissertations

Title

Successful Web Design Factors in Commercial Web Sites: A Case Study

Date of Award

1998

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

S. Rollins Guild

Committee Member

Junping Sun

Committee Member

William Conroy

Abstract

The online software dealer store project of the Electronic Software Dealer (ESD) had a problem of low sales volume, and the problem was attributed to several design problems. Literature indicated that web page design might affect the performance of a commercial web site; however, how the design factors influenced the success of the web site was unknown. To bridge this knowledge gap, a case study research method was used with a methodology that adopted the techniques of Helmstetter (1997), the web guidelines of Dellino (1996), Heller and Rivers (1996), and the Object-Action Model (OAl) of Shneiderman (1997) to analyze the research problem. In order to achieve the objectives, the researcher also analyzed the business models and design success-factors of Dow Jones & Company's Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition (WSJIE) site. In addition to the analysis, the researcher reviewed the literature related to commercial web site projects, interviewed the programmer involved in the ESD project, evaluated the design of ESD's online software store, and designed a prototype for the suggested solution. Results showed that the traditional system development life cycle (SDLC) still plays an important role in commercial web projects, and emphasis on planning, analysis, and the maintenance stages safeguards a more successful implementation of the project. Additionally, a design focusing on business models, marketing niches, and users ensures repeat visits and secures a more financial success to the commercial web site. This study focused on the design success-factors of commercial web sites, and did not cover issues of security and performance of the Web server.

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