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A Framework for Measuring External Quality of Web-sites

A Framework for Measuring External Quality of Web-sites

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Published by ijcsis
Web-sites are domain intensive and some important categories are social, cultural, entertainment, e-commerce, egovernment, museum, tourism, academic, etc. It is obvious that domains of Web-sites differ significantly, and hence a common yardstick cannot be applied to measure quality of all Web-sites. Signore, Loranca, Olsina, Tripathi, Kumar and others have tried to define quality characteristics that are domain specific.
Attempts have also been made to empirically validate these quality characteristics models. While measuring quality of Websites from external point of view, that is quality in use, it has been observed that many quality characteristics are common across domains of Web-sites and some domain specific characteristics change. The authors, therefore, have made an attempt to evolve a common framework to measure external quality of Web-sites and have applied this framework to measure quality of academic institute Web-sites.
Web-sites are domain intensive and some important categories are social, cultural, entertainment, e-commerce, egovernment, museum, tourism, academic, etc. It is obvious that domains of Web-sites differ significantly, and hence a common yardstick cannot be applied to measure quality of all Web-sites. Signore, Loranca, Olsina, Tripathi, Kumar and others have tried to define quality characteristics that are domain specific.
Attempts have also been made to empirically validate these quality characteristics models. While measuring quality of Websites from external point of view, that is quality in use, it has been observed that many quality characteristics are common across domains of Web-sites and some domain specific characteristics change. The authors, therefore, have made an attempt to evolve a common framework to measure external quality of Web-sites and have applied this framework to measure quality of academic institute Web-sites.

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(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 9, No. 7, 2011
A Framework For Measuring External Quality Of Web-sites
 Abstract
 
Web-sites are domain intensive and some importantcategories are social, cultural, entertainment, e-commerce, e-government, museum, tourism, academic, etc. It is obvious thatdomains of Web-sites differ significantly, and hence a commonyardstick can not be applied to measure quality of all Web-sites.Signore, Loranca, Olsina, Tripathi, Kumar and others have triedto define quality characteristics that are domain specific.Attempts have also been made to empirically validate thesequality characteristics models. While measuring quality of Web-sites from external point of view, that is quality in use, it has beenobserved that many quality characteristics are common acrossdomains of Web-sites and some domain specific characteristicschange. The authors, therefore, have made an attempt to evolve acommon framework to measure external quality of Web-sites andhave applied this framework to measure quality of academicinstitute Web-sites.
 Keywords-component; Web-site Quality, Academic domain, Hierarchical model, Attributes, Metrics
I.
 
I
NTRODUCTION
The World Wide Web (WWW) is a see of information of almost all disciplines like philosophy, art, culture,entertainment, science, engineering and medical science etc.The information content on WWW is growing at rapid pacedue to uploading of many new Web-sites every day. Oftenquality of Web-sites is unsatisfactory and basic Web principleslike inter-portability and accessibility are ignored [1, 2]. Themain reason for lack of quality is unavailability of trained staff in Web technologies/engineering and orientation of Webtowards a more complex XML based architecture [1, 2, 3].Web-sites can be categorized as social, cultural, e-commerce, e-government, museums, tourism, entertainment,and academic intensive. It is obvious that domains of Web-sitesdiffer significantly, and hence a common yardstick can not beapplied to measure quality of all Web-sites. Loranca et. al. [4]and Olsina et. al. [5] have identified attributes, sub-attributes,and metrics for e-commerce based Web-sites. Olsina et. al. [6]have also specified metrics for Web-sites of museums. Tripathiand Kumar [7] have specified quality characteristics for e-commerce based Web-sites of Indian origin from user point of view. Recently, Shrivastava, Rana and Kumar [8] havespecified characteristics, sub-characteristics and metrics tomeasure external quality of academic Web-sites from userpoint of view.The aim of this research is to evolve a generic framework that can be applied to measure external quality of Web-sites of all domains. Such a framework is possible because it has beenobserved that many attributes and sub-attributes are common toall domains and only domain specific attributes and sub-attributes are different. Here, we have considered Web-sitequality measurement process from the point of view of user(that is external quality) only.II.
 
L
ITRATURE
S
URVEY
The software industry is more than three decades old but itstill lacks a rigorous model of attributes and metrics that can beused to measure the quality of finished software product. It isdue to the fact that the perception of quality differs fromperson to person. It is natural because users are interested inexternal quality (quality in use) i.e. usability, functionality etc.,where as developers are interested in maintainability,portability etc. Some widely used software quality modelswere proposed by Boehm, Brown and Lipow [9], and McCalland Covano [10]. A complete survey of metrics used tomeasure quality of software can be found in [12,13].International bodies such as ISO and CEN(European) aretrying to integrate different approaches to the definition of quality, starting from the awareness that the quality as anattribute which changes developer’s perspective and actioncontext [11]. The ISO/IEC 9126 model [11] defines threeviews of quality: user’s view, developer’s view, and manager’sview. Users are interested in the quality in use (external qualityattributes), while developers are interested in internal qualityattributes such as maintainability, portability etc. This model ishierarchical and contains six major quality attributes each verybroad in nature. They are subdivided into 27 sub-attributes thatcontribute to external quality and 21 sub-attributes thatcontribute to internal quality.Olsina et. al. [5,6] have proposed hierarchical models of attributes, sub-attributes and metrics for assessing quality of Web-sites of museum and e-commerce domains. They havealso developed a technique called WebQEM to measure qualityof these sites [5]. Tripathi and Kumar [7] have identifiedattributes, sub-attributes and metrics for Indian origin e-commerce Web-sites. They have validated the proposed qualitycharacteristics model both theoretically and empirically [14].
Ritu Shrivastava
 Department of Computer Scienceand EngineeringSagar Institute of ResearchTechnology & Science
Bhopal 462041, India
Dr. M. Kumar
 Department of Computer Science and  EngineeringSagar Institute of ResearchTechnology
Bhoal 462041 India
Dr. R.K. Pandey
 Director, University Institute of Technology, Barkatullah University
Bhopal 462041, India
46http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ISSN 1947-5500
 
(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 9, No. 7, 2011
Recently, Shrivastava, Rana and Kumar [8] have proposed andtheoretically validated a hierarchical model of attributes, sub-attributes and metrics for evaluating quality of Web-sites of academic domain. In this research, we are proposing ageneric framework that can be applied to measure externalquality of Web-sites of all domains. The framework is givenin Fig. 1 and is described in the next section.III.
 
GENERICFRAMEWORK
 
FOR
 
EVALUATING
 
EXTERNAL
 
QUALITYThe suggested framework of Fig. 1 is useful to evaluateexternal quality of operational Web-sites. The framework suggests that evaluator should identify user needs(expectations) from Web-sites along with common practiceof describing quality characteristics as defined in works of Bohem et. al. [9], McCall et. al. [10], ISO/IEC 9126-1standard [11]. The identified characteristics, sub-characteristics should be expressed in terms of lowerabstraction attributes (metrics) that are directly measurable.The framework also suggests that the quality evaluationprocess consist of following three phases
1.
 
Quality Requirements Definition and Specification:
Here, evaluators select a quality model, say, ISO 9126-1which specifies general quality characteristics of softwareproducts. Depending upon evaluation goal (internal orexternal) they select appropriate characteristics qualitymodel [ 11] and also user expectation (viewpoint) translatedin terms of characteristics, sub-characteristics and metrics.The selected characteristics, sub-characteristics and metricsare translated into quality requirement tree. In our case, weprepared quality requirement tree (see Fig. 2) using thisprinciple and validated it in the paper [8].
2.
 
Elementary Evaluation that is Design andImplementation of Measurement Criterion:
Elementary evaluation consists of evaluation design andimplementation. Thus, for each measurable attribute A
i
of quality requirement tree, we can associate a variable X
i
 which can take a real value of the attribute (metric). Itshould be noted that the measured metric value will notrepresent the elementary requirement satisfaction level, so itbecomes necessary to define an elementary criterionfunction that will yield elementary indicator or satisfactionlevel. For example, consider invalid links then a possibleindirect metric could beX = # invalid links / # total links on website.We can now define elementary criterion function (orelementary quality preference EP ) asEP = 1 (full satisfaction), if X = 0= (X
max
– X)/X
max
, if X < X
max
 = 0 ( no satisfaction), if X = > X
max
 where X
max
is some agreed threshold value for invalid links.3.
 
Global Evaluation that is Design andImplementation of Combining all Measurementsto Rank Websites
:
Web productcomonentsWebUserISO/IEC9126 ModelQuality Req.DefinitionsMetricSelectionElementaryPreferenceCriteriadefinitionGlobalPreferenceCriteriadefinitionMeasurementImplementationElementaryPreferenceImplementationPartial / GlobalPreferenceImplementationMeasuredValuesScoredValuesFinalResult
   E  v  a   l  u  a   t   i  o  n   I  m  p   l  e  m  e  n   t  a   t   i  o  n   E  v  a   l  u  a   t   i  o  n   D  e  s   i  g  n
Fig 1: Generic Framework of External Quality Measurement of WebsitesWeb productDescriptionQuality Req.SpecificationsNeedsGuidelinesEvaluationGoals
47http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ISSN 1947-5500
 
(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 9, No. 7, 2011
Here, we select an aggregation criterion and a scoringmodel to globally rank Websites. Further, this makes ourevaluation model more structured, accurate, and easy toapply. For aggregation, we can use either linear additivemodel [15] or non-linear multi-scoring model [16]. Both useweights to consider relative importance of metrics in thequality tree. The aggregation and partial/global preferences(P/GP) or indicators, in case of additive model, can becalculated using formulawhere W
i
are weights and EP
i
are elementary preferences inunit interval range. The following is true for any EP
ior
(in percentage)Further1, and W
i
> 0 for each i, i = 1,2, …….m.It should be noted that the basic arithmetic aggregationoperator in equation (1) for inputs is the plus (+) connector.We can not use equation (1) to model input simultaneity.The nonlinear multi-criteria scoring model is used torepresent input simultaneity or replace ability, etc. This is ageneralized additive model, called Logic ScoringPreferences (LSP) model (see [16]), and is expressed as
( )
mi EPGPP
miii
,........,2,1; / 
1 / 1
==
=
 Where
andThe parameter r is a real number that is selected to achievethe desired logical relationship and polarization intensity.The equation (2) is additive when r = 1, which modelsneutrality relationships. The equation (2) models inputreplace ability or disjunction when
1
and models inputconjunction or simultaneity when r<1.
1
 
Usability
1.1.
 
Global Site understandability1.1.1
 
Site Map(location map)
1.1.2
 
Table of Content 
1.1.3
 
 Alphabetical Index
1.1.4
 
Campus Image Map
1.1.5
 
Guided Tour 
1.2.
 
On-line Feedback and Help Features1.2.1
 
Student Oriented Help
1.2.2
 
Search Help
1.2.3
 
Web-site last Update Indicator 
1.2.4
 
 E-mail Directory
1.2.5
 
Phone Directory
1.2.6
 
FAQ
1.2.7
 
On-line Feedback in form of Questionnaire
1.3.
 
Interface and Aesthetic Features1.3.1
 
 Link Color Style Uniformity
1.3.2
 
Global Style Uniformity
1.3.3
 
What is New Feature
1.3.4
 
Grouping of Main Control Objects
2
 
Functionality
2.1.
 
Search Mechanism2.1.1
 
People Search
2.1.2
 
Course Search
2.1.3
 
 Academic Department Search
2.1.4
 
Global Search
2.2.
 
Navigation and Browsing2.2.1
 
Path Indicator 
2.2.2
 
Current Position Indicator 
2.2.3
 
 Average Links Per Page
2.2.4
 
Vertical Scrolling
2.2.5
 
 Horizontal Scrolling
2.3.
 
Student-Oriented Features
 
2.3.1 Academic Infrastructure Information2.3.1.1
 
 Library Information
2.3.1.2
 
 Laboratory Information
2.3.1.3
 
 Research Facility Information
2.3.1.4
 
Central Computing Facility Information
2.3.2 Student Service Information2.3.2.1
 
 Hostel Facility Information
2.3.2.2
 
Sport Facilities
2.3.2.3
 
Canteen Facility Information
2.3.2.4
 
Scholarship Information
2.3.2.5
 
 Doctor/Medical Facility Information
2.3.3 Academic Information2.3.3.1
 
Courses Offered Information
2.3.3.2
 
 Academic Unit (Department) Information
2.3.3.3
 
 Academic Unit Site Map
2.3.3.4
 
Syllabus Information
2.3.3.5
 
Syllabus Search
2.3.4 Enrollment Information2.3.4.1
 
 Notification uploaded 
2.3.4.2
 
Form Fill/Download 
2.3.5 Online Services2.3.5.1
 
Grade/ Result Information
2.3.5.2
 
Fee dues/Deposit Information
2.3.5.3
 
 News Group Services
3
 
Reliability
3.1.
 
Link and Other Errors3.1.1
 
 Dangling Links
3.1.2
 
 Invalid Links
3.1.3
 
Unimplemented Links
3.1.4
 
 Browser Difference Error 
3.1.5
 
Unexpected Under Construction Pages
4
 
Efficiency
4.1
 
Performance4.1.2
 
 Matching of Link Title and Page Information
4.1.3
 
Support for Text only Version
4.1.4
 
Global Readability
4.1.5
 
 Multilingual Support 
Fig. 2 Quality Characteristics For Academic Institute Web-sites
(1)(2)
48http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ISSN 1947-5500

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