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Justin Mifsud

Justin Mifsud Image Justin Mifsud

Justin's main role is overseeing the User Interface aspect of web sites and software produced by the Holistic IT Group, enhancing the group's product and service portfolio as well as those for its sub divisions, namely Holistic Courses, Holistic Software and Holistic DotNetMushroom. He is also in charge with evaluating new technologies and assessing their viability to see if they can be incorporated within Holistic's workflow.

On a personal development level, Justin's expertise is in HTML, CSS, Web Usability, Web Standards, User Interface Standards and Search Engine Optimization.


Automating the Web Site Usability Evaluation Process

A paradox has been observed whereby web site usability is proven to be an essential element in a web site, yet at the same time there exist an abundance of web pages with poor usability. This discrepancy is the result of limitations that are currently preventing web developers in the commercial sector from producing usable web sites. In this session which is based on a paper that we have written and has been accepted for publication by the International Journal of Human Computer Interaction, we propose a framework, whose objective is to alleviate this problem by automating certain aspects of the usability evaluation process. Mainstreaming comes as a result of automation, therefore enabling a non-expert in the field of usability to conduct the evaluation. This results in reducing the costs associated with such evaluation, whilst overcoming other limitations such as the need to engage usability experts and inconsistent evaluations. Additionally, the framework allows the flexibility of adding, modifying or deleting guidelines without altering the code that references them since the guidelines and the code are two separate components. A comparison of the evaluation results carried out using the framework against published evaluations of web sites carried out by web site usability experts reveals that the framework is able to automatically identify the majority of guideline-related usability violations. Due to the consistency with which it evaluates, it identified 25.88% additional guideline-related violations that were not identified by the usability experts. Although the framework can be used by non-usability experts, it was estimated that using the framework, a usability expert would be still be able to improve by 82.24% their evaluation whilst only making 56.35% of the effort made to evaluate the same web site manually. Since it is web-based, the framework is easily available and can provide rapid and consistent web site usability evaluation during any stage of web site development.

Length: 60 minutes

Level: 2

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