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Lecturer: Ellis E' Confer


Software-centered Web site development. Functionality, Interface ... Links to another product-related Web site should be direct. ... Checkout and Registration ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Lecturer: Ellis E' Confer

Ecommerce Website Engineering ECT 455 Winter 2004
  • Lecturer Ellis E. Confer
  • E-mail econfer_at_cs.depaul.edu
  • Office Hours Monday 430 600 pm

Evolution of Web Site Engineering
  • Early generations of Web sites
  • Document-centered Web page design
  • Information design content, presentation and
  • Software-centered Web site development
  • Functionality, Interface
  • Dynamic HTML, Java, JavaScript, VBScript, CGI,
  • Complexity and ad hoc methodology

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  • Definition
  • Ease of use effectiveness, efficiency, and
  • A specific group of users
  • Specified goals and tasks
  • Specified context of use
  • The completion time for a typical visit and the
    number of errors made during the visit

  • Learnability easy to learn
  • Rememberability easy to remember how to use
  • Efficiency of use doesnt require a lot of work
    on the part of user
  • Reliability in use it works correctly and helps
    users perform tasks correctly
  • User satisfaction directly related to usability
  • Usability varies by users, environment, and The
    Web as the medium (screen size, technologies,
    networks, browsers.)

Action-Reaction-Action Loop
Common User Characteristics
  • Vision
  • Hue (color)
  • Value (saturation)
  • Lightness (contrast)
  • Memory
  • Recognition gt Recall
  • 7 /- 2
  • Response time
  • Payoff
  • Browser and site feedback? Progress of download
  • Time gt Bytes
  • Use preload
  • Stimulus
  • Threshold
  • Surprise
  • Sensory adaptation
  • Movement
  • Mouse
  • Keyboard
  • Environment
  • Location

General TPost purchases
  • Novices
  • Prefer extra clicks with extra feedback
  • Experts/Power Users
  • Frequent and Infrequent visitors
  • Advanced features
  • Familiarity with site structure
  • (Infrequent) Intermediate Users

Usability Heuristics (Jacob Nielsen)
  • Simple and natural dialogue
  • Speak the users language
  • Minimize the users memory load
  • Consistency
  • Feedback
  • Clearly marked exits
  • Shortcuts
  • Precise and constructive error messages
  • Prevent errors
  • Help and documentation

Web Usability Guidelines
  • Be consistent.
  • Dont violate users expectations. Respect Web
    and GUI conventions.
  • Use surprise properly and sparingly.
  • Simplify the site and individual pages.
  • Rely on recognition, not recall.
  • Do not assume users will read instructions.
  • Try to prevent or correct errors.
  • Provide feedback.
  • Support different interaction styles
  • Minimize mouse travel and keystrokes.
  • Consider medium of consumption.
  • Consider environment of use.
  • Focus on speed.

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The Medium of the Web Client Side Considerations
  • Local environment hardware, browser, bandwidth,
    technology not under a developers control
  • Lowest Common Denominators (LCD)
  • Client Profiling
  • Display, address, proxy server

The Medium of the Web Server Side Considerations
  • Within the developers control
  • Server network connection
  • Server hardware,
  • Web server
  • Database
  • Bandwidth
  • Web Application Hosting

Optional Development Methodologies
  • Modified Waterfall model
  • Problem definition and concept exploration
  • Requirements Analysis and Specification
  • Design Prototyping
  • Implementation and Unit Testing
  • Integration and System Testing
  • Operation and Maintenance
  • Other considerations
  • Documentation and RAD
  • Spiral Model Modified Waterfall with a whirlpool
    for Risk Analysis (page 112)
  • Evaluation

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Modified waterfall with risk analysis whirlpool
Problem Definition (B, E)
Requirement Analysis (C)
Design Prototype (D)
Implementation Unit Testing (F)
Integration System Testing
Release Operation Maintenance (F,E)
Traditional Systems Engineering vs. Web Site
  • More stable context
  • Longer development timeframe
  • Mature technology and methodology
  • Functionality- and data-centric
  • Longer life cycle
  • Unfamiliar territory
  • Aggressive release schedule
  • Document centric
  • Look and feel (GUI heritage)
  • Tools are not mature
  • Unpredictable environment
  • Marketing
  • Culture and skill sets
  • Ad hoc methodology
  • Users?

A Balance of Three Component
  • Information Design
  • Information architecture and content presentation
    (user mental model)
  • Interface Design
  • Graphics and navigation (prototyping)
  • System Design
  • Functionality
  • Programming and Database
  • (prototyping and testing)
  • Determined by Site Complexity and Functionality

Characteristics of a Well-engineered Web Site
  • Correct process flow
  • Testable
  • Maintainable
  • Portable and Scalable
  • Reusable
  • Robust and Reliable
  • Efficient
  • Well documented
  • Appropriately presented

Elements of a Business Case
  • Purpose
  • Value Proposition
  • Clear and Measurable Goals
  • Business Models
  • User Profile
  • Competition
  • Measures of Success

Audience User Profile
  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Language
  • Technical Proficiency
  • Connection
  • Computer
  • Browser
  • Entry and Exit
  • Tasks
  • Time and Frequency
  • Profiling
  • Novice
  • Infrequent Intermediate Users
  • Frequent and Experienced Users
  • Type of purchase and purchasing behavior

Requirement Analysis-- The Site Plan
  • Short goal statement
  • Detailed goal discussion
  • Audience discussion
  • Use scenario discussion
  • Content requirements
  • Site structure diagram (information architecture)
  • Visual requirement
  • Technical requirements
  • Delivery requirement
  • Staffing
  • Time line
  • Budget

Requirement Analysis
  • Environment
  • B2C, B2B, or Intranet
  • Browser, connectivity, monitor, servers, target
    platform, ISP
  • Least Common Denominator (LCD) platform640x480,
    plus 28.8kbs connectivity.
  • Infrastructure
  • Static versus Dynamic
  • Database
  • Performance requirement

Requirement Analysis
  • Marketing
  • Communication standards
  • Branding
  • Content
  • What to include? Repurpose existing content.
  • Less is More! And Chunking
  • Information Architecture
  • Functionality
  • Features
  • Resource Requirement

Design and Prototyping
  • Navigation design and layout
  • Graphics
  • Database
  • Transaction process flow
  • Paper Prototype

Implementation and Testing
  • Programming
  • Content and graphics

  • Visual acceptance testing
  • Functionality testing
  • Content proofing
  • System and browser compatibility testing
  • Delivery testing
  • User acceptance testing

Release, Promotion, and Maintenance
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Evaluate site performance
  • Site traffic and log analysis
  • Update and maintenance

Problem Definition (B, E)
Process vs. Components
Requirement Analysis (C)
Design Prototype (D)
Deliverables C Information design D. Interface
design F System Design
Implementation Unit Testing (F)
Integration System Testing
Release Operation Maintenance (F,E)
Web Site Types
Interactive vs. Static Sites
  • Static Sites
  • Content is relatively fixed
  • A visitor has minimal ability to interact with
    the sites content other than choosing the order
    in which to view content
  • Dynamic Sites
  • Pages of the site are generated at request or
    view time for the user
  • May be personalized

Information Design
  • Hypertext theory
  • Page as an unit of information
  • Inter-related pages
  • Fragment of information
  • Chunking
  • Structure Information Architecture

Information Architecture
  • Organization of site content (pages), blueprint
    to aid the development process a logical
  • Representation of user mental model
  • Determined by predictability and expressiveness
  • Linear (w/ alternatives, w/options, w/side trips)
  • Grid
  • Hierarchy
  • Wide Hierarchy Breadth of choice
  • Narrow Hierarchy Focus
  • Mixed Forms
  • Splash Page?

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Users and Site Structures
  • Keep in mind the perspective of the user visiting
    the site
  • Home Page vs. many entry points (every page)
  • Conclusion page vs. many exit points
  • Visit phase unaware of the underlying site
  • Spatial orientation and preference for navigation
    in terms of location
  • Novice users prefer sites with predictable
    structure and follow links
  • Experience/power users desire control and choices

Porous, Semiporous, and Solid Site Structure
  • Porous Form
  • Put users in control, allows the user to enter
    any URL directly or enter by bookmark
  • Decrease ability to change deep pages without
    addressing outside linking not providing one
    common entry point
  • Solid Form
  • Does not expose site structure, easier to
    maintain and modify, forces user to enter through
    known points, easier to track user path
  • Remove users from control, limit the
    effectiveness of outside search engines
  • Semiporous Form

Deep vs. Shallow Sites
  • Narrow vs. wide hierarchy
  • Site depth of three clicks
  • Feedback to show progress
  • Positive feedback indicating progress
  • 5-9 clusters (7 /- 2) and 5-9 items per cluster
    25-81 links per page
  • Redundant links for more important pages

E-Commerce Website Design Guidelines
  • Home Page
  • Keep the home page clean and not cluttered with
    text and graphics
  • Avoid horizontal scrolling.
  • Navigation
  • Text on the links or buttons should be
    descriptive and self explanatory.
  • Links to another product-related Web site should
    be direct.
  • Source Research findings from Rehman, 2000
    Hurst Gellady, 2000 Hurst Terry, 2000

E-Commerce Website Design Guidelines
  • Categorization
  • Categorize products meaningfully with no more
    than three levels in depth.
  • Product Information
  • Provide accurate, consistent, and detailed
    descriptions of products along with full
  • Present inventory information and related charges
    up front.
  • The size of products should be shown in a
    measurable and comparable way.
  • Source Research findings from Rehman, 2000
    Hurst Gellady, 2000 Hurst Terry, 2000

E-Commerce Website Design Guidelines
  • Checkout and Registration
  • The vendor should only ask for necessary and
    meaningful information, such as name and address,
    not asking marketing questions.
  • Customers should be allowed to browse the site
    without logging in.
  • Customer Service
  • Customers should be provided with a 1-800
    telephone number on every page of the site.
  • Source Research findings from Rehman, 2000
    Hurst Gellady, 2000 Hurst Terry, 2000

Remember the Basic B2C Business Models
  • Merchant Model
  • Virtual merchants
  • Catalogue merchants
  • Click Brick
  • Advertising/Subscription Model
  • Horizontal portal
  • Vertical portal
  • Personalized portal
  • Sponsorship/Brokerage/Intermediary
  • Buy/sell fulfillment
  • Buyer/demand aggregator
  • Virtual mall
  • Hypermediary (financial settlement)
  • Auction broker
  • Reverse auction

Remember The Value Chain Taken From the
Perspective of Consumers and Producers
Roles in Consumer Decision Making
Shopping is two-dimensional Hedonic or
Mercantile Model Consumers and Producers
  • Prepurchase Interaction
  • Product/service search
  • Comparison shopping
  • Negotiation of terms
  • Purchase Consummation
  • Placement of order
  • Authorization of payment
  • Receipt of product
  • Presales Interaction
  • Consumer inquiry and order
  • planning generation
  • Cost estimation and pricing of
  • product services
  • Product Service Production and Delivery
  • Order receipt and entry
  • Order selection and prioritization
  • Order scheduling
  • Order fulfillment and delivery

  • Post-Sales Interaction
  • Order billing and account/payment management
  • Customer service and support
  • Post purchase Interaction
  • Customer service and support

Some Website Design Guiding Principles
  • Consumers must be compensated for disclosing data
    about themselves.
  • Trusted brand names matter even more on the web.
  • Self-service provides the highest level of
    customer comfort and satisfaction
  • The quantity of people visiting your site is less
    important than the quality of their experience.

When to Use Electronic Catalog Merchant Servers?
  • Have an existing paper or electronic catalog
  • Sell Internet services, such as Internet hosting,
    design, and connectivity.
  • Want to own the hardware/software for Web
  • Desire more flexibility and control than 3-party
    providers can offer
  • Do not have products or services that require
    complex pricing or configuration processing
  • Do not have complex database integration
  • Have some technical resources in-house to set up
    the software

Common Features of Packaged Catalog Solutions
  • Electronic store setup
  • Product presentation
  • Order processing
  • Payment processing
  • Support for third-party software such as shipping
    and tax calculation packages
  • Examples iCat, BroadVision, OpenMarket

BroadVision (broadvision.com)
  • 11 relationship Management
  • Front-end dynamic content presentation based on
    customer profile information
  • Tailor content to the customers preferences,
    requirements, and characteristics
  • Personalize content using a variety of matching
    techniques (searches/community filtering)
  • Establish communities of interests that link
    visitors together by matching their interests and
    behaviors with community-based web site services
    and contents
  • Dynamic Command Center -- marketing, advertising,
    and editorial management based on business rules

OpenMarket (openmarket.com)
  • Provider of heavy-duty transaction processing
    systems for EC
  • OM Transact 4 -- payment processing, order
    management, customer service
  • Live Commerce industrial strength Internet
  • Shop Site Internet storefront for medium and
    small business

Designing the User Experience (Usability
Professional Association)
  • Analysis Phase
  • Design Phase
  • Implementation Phase
  • Deployment Phase

Designing the User Experience Analysis Phase
  • Meet with key stakeholders to set vision
  • Include usability tasks in the project plan
  • Assemble a multidisciplinary team to ensure
    complete expertise
  • Develop usability goals and objectives
  • Conduct field studies
  • Look at competitive products
  • Create user profiles
  • Develop a task analysis
  • Document user scenarios
  • Document user performance requirements

Designing the User Experience Design Phase
  • Begin to brainstorm design concepts and metaphors
  • Develop screen flow and navigation model
  • Do walkthroughs of design concepts
  • Begin design with paper and pencil
  • Create low-fidelity prototypes
  • Conduct usability testing on low-fidelity
  • Create high-fidelity detailed design
  • Do usability testing again
  • Document standards and guidelines
  • Create a design specification Novices

Designing the User Experience Development Phase
  • Do ongoing heuristic evaluations
  • Work closely with delivery team as design is
  • Conduct usability testing as soon as possible

Designing the User Experience Deployment Phase
  • Use surveys to get user feedback
  • Conduct field studies to get info about actual
  • Check objectives using usability testing

User Experience Design (Vergo et al., 2003)
  • Business goals definition
  • User identification
  • Task analysis
  • User concept modeling
  • Competitive analysis
  • Interaction design
  • Visual design
  • Usability testing

Next Session Highlights
  • Review reading assignments
  • T S Ch 16
  • Powell Ch 7, 8, 10, 12, 14
  • Deliverable C Due
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