The Impact of Front-End Usability Guidelines on Consumer Evaluations of E-Commerce Web Pages
This thesis examined the impact of usability guidelines and front-end web site design on consumer aesthetic evaluations of e-commerce web sites and perceptions of the e-retailer. A detailed web site design guidelines framework was developed from an in-depth review of the usability, human factors, and human-computer interaction web design guidelines literature. Four web site design factors (background color, white space, thumbnail image location, and thumbnail image size) were selected and varied using this framework. In addition, as a secondary research focus, this study explored the impact of these front-end web site design factors on consumer trust, product preference, and purchase intention. Based upon the literature, a conceptual model was proposed which integrated usability and web site design with consumer web site evaluation, trust, purchase intention, satisfaction, and loyalty. Conjoint analysis methodology was then used to design web page prototypes. Results showed that subtle front-end web site design elements impacted consumer aesthetic evaluations of the web page and subsequent e-retailer evaluations, although individual-level analysis showed a high level of heterogeneity across respondents. Results also provided support for the conceptual model developed.
usability; web page; design; consumer; e-commerce; conjoint analysis; web page aesthetics; e-retailer evaluations
dissertation or thesis