Markup in the Writing Classroom

Genre: bib

Student id: b11

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The web app Northeastern University uses to help students search for co-ops is antiquated. The tools provided to navigate the site are lackluster and the whole service suffers from poor contributer (co-op providers) input. It is important to focus on the issue being one of usability and interface quality rather then this being a back end problem. This meaning the issue is primarily related to the aspects of the web service that the user can see and interact with (or not in the case of a lack of features).

Julie M. Rinder The Importance of Website Usability Testing

Rinder's capstone report brings together a large collection of professional works regarding the history of website usability and the actual process of testing it. The author brings this to us in the form of a scholarly annotated bibliography This University of Oregon report also provides us with a large scope of website usability, including recent influences on web usability all the way through how businesses can adapt to these influences. The Importance of Website Usability starts off with a strong idea: that perceived usability is key to user satisfaction. Though Rinder often takes a business focused lens when discussing usability and why it is important, the ideas are relevant to all circles. The report outlines the criteria it used for sources, including looking for authority and quality. After the bulk of the report consisting of annotated bibliographies, Rinder has a lengthy conclusion, breaking down what the author considers to be the defining principles of usability, comparing and contrasting researched ideas and often noting the similarities. The majority of his analytical work comes in the conclusion, and it focuses heavily on the importance and process of reliable testing. Rinder presents this simple idea: Users use and return to websites if they can easily find useful information-in other words, the acceptability of web applications relies on their usability. This is well said. Unfortunately in some cases, users don't have the choice. If you are looking for compelling reading into why you should appreciate well made web services, look no further. Although Rinder focuses heavily on usability testing rather then the philosophy behind usability, readers may find the conclusion detailing usability more relevant for creating arguments for and how to improve services.

Rex P. Singular Roselle S. Basa Journal of Educational Technology and Society 14.4 Factors Affecting Faculty Web Portal Usability

From the College of Computer Studies and Systems at the University of East-Manila, Philippines, Singular and Basa investigate what can impact web portal usability. The results of their research were intended to aid the university's online services, specifically in the interest of developing new ones. Included in their work is a large study of the present faculty including the questionnaire used. The article takes an analytical approach to different paradigms explaining the common occurs low usability of web services. The two authors look at a number of publications that analyze similar topics and add to previous work in the field. Similar to other medium analysis work, the two authors develop their own principles of web design and go into an in-depth explanation of each. The authors also provide evidence for a number of original thesis statements relevant to the development of faculty and staff web portals. As outlined in preface of their research, the majority of the authors' claims are targeted at university web portals for faculty and students. If this is what you are researching, this is paper is loaded with relevant original data and analysis. That should not discourage other researchers. The two authors make a number of important queries into the effects of images and layouts to navigability, which could be applied to any web service. The data the two authors collected is gathered mostly from tech savy students, which presents a clear bias. Although that may be unavoidable at such a technical college. Despite this the research is valuable and the authors make a number of interesting arguments throughout the piece that anyone interested in digital interfaces would benefit from reading.

Alexiei Dingli Sarah Cassar An Intelligent Framework for Website Usability

The introduction to this article discusses a very common theme among web design research; websites play a central role in modern marketing. Specifically that at one time, it was enough to just own a website, but now that website are forced to compete vigorously. This paradigm influences the majority of the piece, and and provides the reader with a valuable bare bones history. The meat of article is the discussion surrounding the technical elements and procedures to automate usability. The authors suggest discuss a number of empirical testing methods and already available analysis tools. The articles can be summed up with this: As a means of assisting website designers in developing usable websites, the aim of this paper is to present a tool which automates the process of website usability evaluation in order to eliminate the current obstacles preventing this process from being exercised in practice. Despite the overwhelming majority of the article being a discussion about automated usability testing, this article has a number valuable outlines regarding what is expected of usability, referencing a number of previously existing standards. Although the bulk of the tools listed and the discussion itself is oriented at an professional audience, anyone can benefit from reading this article by internalizing the paradigms that influenced it. In regards to the paper's credibility, it is incredibly well sourced and provides a lengthy look into the research process.

Rodrigo Coutinho What makes a great web app great?

Coutinho is an author and developer at Outsystems. Outsystems is a business oriented application service that focuses on providing total packages. For example: complete services like a web app and mobile that are integrated. The author's short blog post provides us with a developer's experience of web application design. He begins to talk about the external (user end) experiences that create a valuable service, but then switches his focus to the inner workings of a great web app. The author summarizes the characteristics that he believes set an application up for success. The author also reminds of a common pitfall of web development, and that is how the back end of the application must set the front end up for success. Although short, the author uses the size of this blog post well. Straight to the point, the author identifies what he wants to convey quickly and effectively. Anyone in or outside the industry can benefit from reading this blog post, especially if you are considering developing a web application.

Paul Boag How to Build a Better Web Application for Your Business

Right out of the gate, Boag's blog post smacks you in the face with its intentions. Are you fed up with hearing about yet another Silicon Valley Web application built with fairy dust and funded by magic pixies? The answer for many is yes, and Boag's candid humor sets the mood the reader. The post is long, and detailed, but segmented in a way that is easy to digest. As Boag puts it: For us, developing a web application is about meeting a particular business need A clear and concise explanation, Boag explains how most developers have to work around business interests. Specifically stating that it is a luxury for a developer to have the digital infrastructure as the primary concern. Without actually stating it, Boag explains why it is common to see poor usiablity on highly funded projects. As a developer himself, Boag uses this blog post to share his "secrets" of working with web applications within the confines of business interests. Interestingly, they are not technical solutions, but personal ones. This isn't always the approach of software developer, and it leaves the reader with more to think about than just the relevant software development issues. Anyone looking to develop business oriented web applications should read this blog post. The questions asked not only point out ways to create better software, but also how to better interact in compartmentalized corporations. Contractors, outside developers, or in-house developers will benefit from Boag's ideas. This personal approach to developing is something all industry workers should be conscious of, whether you lead a product or just joined a scrum team.

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