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Evaluating the navigability of Australian universities’ websites

Study level

Honours

Vacation research experience scheme

Faculty/Lead unit

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.

Supervisors

Dr Yulin Liu
Position
Math, Science and IT Educator
Division / Faculty
Office of the Provost

Overview

Website design is a crucial factor to the success of virtually all applications for e-commerce, digital government and online learning in the 21st century.

A university homepage serves as the main portal through which users, particularly outsiders, find and access information about the university. Search and navigation represent two principal means for finding information on a website.

Although there have been thorough research and applications regarding search engine optimisation for university websites, limited research has been conducted on navigability.

Website navigability refers to the degree which a visitor can follow a website’s hyperlink structure to successfully find information with efficiency and ease.

This project aims to evaluate the navigability of Australian universities' websites by designing and applying a combination of novel, practical and complementary website usability evaluation methods and tools.

Research activities

You will have the opportunity to work closely with the supervisor in study design, data collection, data analysis and academic writing for publication.

With the supervisor's guidance, your main research activities will include:

  • reviewing relevant literature
  • designing data collection and analysis strategy and plan
  • learning how to use automated navigability evaluation tools to collect website data and complete data collection
  • assisting in the collection of user testing and inquiry data
  • assisting in data analysis and interpretation
  • co-authoring with the supervisor on a research article for academic publication.

Outcomes

This project aims to evaluate the navigability of Australian universities' Web sites by designing and applying a combination of novel, practical and complementary website usability evaluation methods and tools.

A valuable research data set will be generated during this project.

This project's study design, data collection, findings from data analysis and interpretation will be documented in the format of a research article to the standard for publication at a high-impact academic journal such as Internet and Higher Education.

Skills and experience

You would be ideal for this research project if you meet the following criteria:

  • strong interest in this project's research topic
  • reliable colleague
  • able to manage time well
  • quick and independent learner with necessary supervision
  • familiar with fundamental concepts in website usability evaluation
  • willing to learn how to use software to collect data from websites
  • statistical data processing and analysis skills
  • sufficient verbal communication skills for user interview
  • sufficient academic writing skills
  • strong interest in academic publication outcomes from this project
  • creative in problem solving.

Scholarships

You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.

Annual scholarship round

Keywords

Contact

Contact the supervisor for more information.