Using University Ranking Systems to Predict Usability of University Websites

Layla Hasan

Resumo


This research investigated whether a university ranking system called Eduroute could provide useful information regarding the usability of universities’ websites. A comparison was conducted between the results obtained by Eduroute regarding the ranking of the top three universities in Jordan, and the results obtained by the heuristic evaluation method regarding the usability of the top three universities’ websites. Before employing the heuristic evaluation method, two steps were taken: Investigating the most frequently visited pages on a university’s website from the viewpoint of 237 students, and developing a set of comprehensive heuristics specific to educational websites. Then, five heuristic evaluators were selected and asked to visit all the pages determined by the 237 students using the developed heuristics while evaluating each website. The results proved that the ranking of the three universities at Eduroute was an indicator regarding the overall usability of the sites; the first ranked university at Eduroute had the lowest number of usability problems identified by the evaluators, while the least ranked university had the largest number of usability problems. The heuristic evaluators also identified fourteen common usability problems on the three tested websites related to navigation, design, content, and ease of use and communication.

Palavras-chave


Usability; university ranking system; Eduroute; Jordan; heuristic evaluation; educational websites.

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Referências


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