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This assignment addresses the Learning Outcomes from the module syllabus:

  1. Evaluate an interactive product and report findings in an appropriate way
  2. Select and defend appropriate evaluation methods for a particular situation

Provide a second appendices document containing further information, important forms used in your study, and evidence of study data captured. This could include:

  • Risk assessment
  • Consent forms
  • Data gathering forms
  • Instructions to participants
  • Full results

If you submit work late and unauthorised, a universal penalty will be applied in relation to your work:

  • If you submit work within 5 working days following the published submission date you will obtain the minimum pass mark for that element of assessment.
  • Work submitted later than 5 working days after the published submission date will be awarded a mark of 0% for that element of assessment.
  • Unauthorised late submission at resubmission will automatically be awarded a mark of 0% for that element of assessment.

Evaluation of visitsouthport.com

Interaction is one of the keywords that is associated with progress, and one of such interaction is between the human and computer (Dingli, and Cassar 2014). The developers are now developing interactive computing systems and technologies. One example of the discussed development is an interactive website. The report will evaluate one of such interactive website and based on the evaluation appropriate recommendations will be made. The subject for evaluation is visitsouthport.com, and it will be evaluated using cognitive walkthrough method. The report has also taken proper ethical consideration and has offered different forms and sheets that have been used in the paper in the appendices section.  

The evaluated website on the first view seems to be quite exciting as it offers an exciting and beautiful view of the objective of the website. The objective of the website is to promote Southport, a seaside town of Merseyside, England (Visitsouthport.com 2018). The images on the website beautifully depict the offerings (natural beauty, rich cultural background, sports enthusiasm and others) of visiting the town (van der Hoop 2014). Additionally, the maps and other required details make the viewers interested in visiting the town. The website’s design and navigation are comforting for the visitor. The developers have also kept in mind to make the website a responsive and dynamic one to earn a positive perception from the visitor. Hence, it can be stated that in the first view the website seems picture perfect and the viewer can revisit it.

Cognitive walkthrough method (CWM) is an evaluation method that takes account of the perception that a visitor will have on visiting the website for the first time (Plechawska-Wójcik Luján-Mora and Wójcik 2013). In the discussed evaluation method, the evaluator answers four questions while playing the role of a first time visitor. It enables the evaluator to evaluate the interactive technology without worrying about the ethical consideration and also putting less effort in the process (Bligård and Osvalder 2013). The accuracy offered by the discussed evaluation method is also very high. Another notable benefit offered by the CWM is that it is cost-effective and time-saving for the evaluator.

As stated in the earlier section, adopting CWM omits the chances of arousal of any ethical issue though there are minor ethical considerations which must be taken into account. Hence, it will be ensured that the paper is unbiased and free from any data manipulation attempts (Williams and Williams 2016). Additionally, as the evaluator is playing the role of a participant so to ensure the reliability and vitality consent forms, risk assessment, instruction sheets and other research forms & sheets has been added in the appendices section following the report. To enhance, the reliability of the stated facts, definitions and other factors that assisted the author in pursuing the paper, proper credit has been offered to the sources in the bibliography section.  It will also be kept in consideration to avoid any ethical dilemma from arousal as the author is the participant and the evaluator. If such dilemmas are identified, then they will be added to the limitations of the paper.

Cognitive Walkthrough Method

The evaluation process will be pursued in four steps (Fernandes, Flaster and Lehman 2013). They have been discussed as follows:

Clarity over the purpose of the subject: The subject’s purpose is very clearly visible on visiting the website. The purpose of the subject is to attract tourism, and the images and guidance offered to reach the destination define the objective (Cyr 2013). Additionally, the detailing about the places to visit and accommodation options make the visitors more drawn towards the fulfilling the purpose of the subject.

Visibility of options: The options are also readily visible which is further simplified by adding a search icon (where you can search the site). Subsections of the website also offer a library type view where the visitor can look for specific knowledge in the specific section. The designing of the website has also taken care of the tourist who loves their pets as there is a section which suggests that the pets will be taken appropriate care (Plechawska-Wójcik, Luján-Mora and Wójcik 2013). This approach of the website developers cites their creativity to make the visitors see what they desire for.

The link between the option and action: In the discussed step the action in response to the selected option has been discussed. The evaluation reveals that there are multiple options to select from and they very much serve their purpose. The option that cites print page does take the visitor to the print page; the calendar does offer the event details that are proposed and other options similarly serve their designated purposes as well. However, the option that enables the searching option of the website can be improved as it will be difficult for the non-frequent website visitors to choose from the multiple options offered by the search section (Yin and Guo 2013). It is visible from the picture attached below that when selecting the accommodation option; it offers a suitable response.

Feedback accuracy: It is evident on an evaluation that the website does offer appropriate responses for the selected options. Additionally, the detailing associated with the feedback is an excellent perk for the visitors (Fernandes Flaster and Lehman 2013). One of the examples of detailing is the travel map which can be printed to offer simplicity the visitors need. However, the results can be confusing for some visitors, and they might consider that the feedback offered by the website is not appropriate.

On evaluating the website, it is evident that there is not much need for improvement. However, the search section can be improved to offer more concise and accurate result to the visitors. The website should also support ‘lite’ version (basic HTML support mode) for the visitors who live in a low connectivity area and faces difficulty in visiting a high-resolution website.

Conclusion:

The evaluated website is a well-designed website and even offer a simplified navigation option but most importantly fulfils the purpose of its creation. Though minor errors have been determined which can be easily tackled and in-process broaden the visitors visit logs. The author and hopefully the readers will also earn an insight into evaluating interactive systems and technologies. Finally, adopting the cognitive walkthrough method limited the ethical issues from development but though offered certain limitations which has been stated in the following section.

Not many limitations have been identified while pursuing the evaluation process. However, the limitation to the thinking capacity can be considered as the only limitation of the paper.

References:

Barry, D.J., Ferrara, J.S., Meissner, G.L. and Reale, P., International Business Machines Corp, 2013. System and method for developing a website. U.S. Patent 8,386,921.

Bligård, L.O. and Osvalder, A.L., 2013. Enhanced cognitive walkthrough: development of the cognitive walkthrough method to better predict, identify, and present usability problems. Advances in Human-Computer Interaction, 2013, p.9.

Cyr, D., 2013. Website design, trust and culture: An eight country investigation. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 12(6), pp.373-385.

Dingli, A. and Cassar, S., 2014. An intelligent framework for website usability. Advances in Human-Computer Interaction, 2014, p.5.

Drees, T.P., Zimmerman, S.V., Taylor, D.J. and Rachitsky, L., Neustar Inc, 2013. System and method for determining cost of website performance. U.S. Patent 8,423,634.

Fernandes, N.C., Flaster, M. and Lehman, A.R., Google Inc, 2013. Evaluating website properties by partitioning user feedback. U.S. Patent 8,615,514.

Grigoreanu, V. and Mohanna, M., 2013, April. Informal cognitive walkthroughs (ICW): paring down and pairing up for an agile world. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 3093-3096). ACM.

Plechawska-Wójcik, M., Luján-Mora, S. and Wójcik, L., 2013, July. Assessment of User Experience with Responsive Web Applications using Expert Method and Cognitive Walkthrough-A Case Study. In ICEIS (3) (pp. 111-118).

van der Hoop, W., Short Run Website Evaluation: The Effect of Human Aspects in Images.

Visitsouthport.com. (2018). Visit Southport - Official Southport Tourist Information Site. [online] Available at: https://www.visitsouthport.com/ [Accessed 5 Apr. 2018].

Williams, S.E. and Williams, J.F., 2016. Method and System for Digital Signing for Consent Using a Video Consent Signature and Cognitive Test. U.S. Patent Application 14/732,389.

Yin, P.Y. and Guo, Y.M., 2013. Optimization of multi-criteria website structure based on enhanced tabu search and web usage mining. Applied Mathematics and Computation, 219(24), pp.11082-11095.

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[Accessed 20 June 2024].

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