The growth of the Internet and the electronic commerce is developing with a great speed in the last years. In this line, the increase of the competence is bringing a great interest in examining the factors of acceptation and success of a website. Thus, many studies have emphasizing the design of a website as a critical aspect for the achievement of a successfully virtual store. Concretely, the aim of this study is to identify the key factors that influence the degree of success of the websites. Specifically, we focus on the specific elements related to the web design. A heuristic analysis, which is based on the assessments of a multidisciplinary group of experts, was carried out in order to find out and better understand the good and bad practices of two well-known websites. The literature review and the results of the test allowed us to identify the critical aspects related to web design and to offer some managerial implications in order for designers to get an efficient e-commerce website.
Key words: Electronic commerce, web design, usability, web atmospherics, heuristic. 1
CollECTeR Iberoamérica 2008Flavián Carlos
The relevance of web design for the website
success: A heuristic analysis
_____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ Orús Carlos
In the last years, the diffusion of Internet as a new retail channel is developing with a great growth. In a market with a target of more than 1300 million people () and more than 70 thousand million dot-com websites in the world (), the opportunities of trading are almost infinite. Sales through the web are up to 70 billon US$ in United States in the second half of 2007, which means an increase of 20% for the same period last year (, ). Regarding this development of online businesses, a great increase of competence is occurring. In this context, there has been arising a great body of research focused on the factors that affect the success of an e-commerce website. In this line, many studies have identified the web design as a key factor for the development of a good interface for satisfying the consumer needs. A good design is relevant for companies to survive in the extremely competitive World Wide Web (e.g. , , ). Moreover, web design is important to get higher levels of satisfaction with the website  or to increase the online purchase intention of the consumer . In this context, there is a growing and special interest among managers in knowing the key factors that could help them to achieve their websites’ success. This professional interest has been moved to the academic scope, in which a great number of researchers have focused on identifying the aspects that influence the businesses’ levels of acceptation and success on the electronic channel (e.g. , ). Thus, the goals of this research are the following: 1. to identify the key factors that could determine the success of the websites, focusing on the specific aspects related to the web design;
2. to develop a heuristic test in order to know good and bad practices carried out by relevant firms on the Internet nowadays; and
3. to propose some managerial guidelines with the aim of suggesting adequate design of the websites. 2 Factors Affecting the Website Success
Recently, a great number of authors have made efforts in order to delimit the concept associated to a successful website. In this sense, the marketing literature has emphasized the consumers’ perspective in order to establish how an e-commerce website must be for the achievement of success. Specifically, some authors have pointed out the main characteristics of websites’ quality from a consumer view (, ); some others have stressed the consumers’ beliefs and perceptions of the value created by the...