Informative web content guidelines: A practitioner model for online content effectiveness

Muirhead, J 2022, Informative web content guidelines: A practitioner model for online content effectiveness , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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With the rise of the world wide web, many organisations publish large knowledge bases as online informative content, enabling access for their current and potential stakeholders, customers, and service users. Providing universal access to information is a key feature of many national laws, ensuring that content is accessible for the intended audience, however there is little focus on its informativeness. Whilst there are many prior academic and industry frameworks for assessing the success of information systems, many of these focus on facets of the system itself or task completion, rather than the quality of the content. Evolutions of the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) have guided practitioners towards accessibility, neglecting the other attributes of information quality. This interpretive study identifies the key attributes that have the greatest impact on information quality, using four action case studies to examine the attributes and identify areas for content improvement. Each action case study employs observations using task scenarios and the concurrent think aloud protocol to elicit user perceptions and cognitive understanding of information within websites and their inherent attributes of quality. The insights discovered from users feed the development of a model for practitioners to refine their content based on a synthesis between existing generalised literature and focused studies within the online space. The Informative Web Content Guidelines (IWCG) is proposed as a new practitioner model for developing and assessing web content by promoting information quality. The guidelines parallel existing industry standards mandated by many national governments to improve online accessibility. Based on results from the case studies, this model combines key attributes from prior literature with three new attributes identified through the case studies: those of fallback, information usability, and interactivity. By combining existing academic information quality frameworks with focused data from the case studies, a specialised selection of attributes for online information quality is proposed. This thesis narrates the study, including the identification of potential information quality attributes from prior literature, the development of a practitioner-focused model based on WCAG principles and validation through a final action case study.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Kutar, MS (Supervisor) and Fletcher, G (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School
Depositing User: Jessica Muirhead
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2022 07:41
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2022 02:30

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