Human factors in website usability and aesthetics: theory and applications to hotels in Hong Kong

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

Human factors in website usability and aesthetics: theory and applications to hotels in Hong Kong

 

Author: Leung, Ching Man Rosanna
Title: Human factors in website usability and aesthetics: theory and applications to hotels in Hong Kong
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2012
Subject: Web sites -- Evaluation.
Web sites -- Design.
Web sites -- Psychological aspects.
Hotels -- Computer network resources.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: School of Hotel and Tourism Management
Pages: xiv, 254 p. : ill. (chiefly col.) ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2551273
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/6786
Abstract: Visual components, such as color, text style, font size, image, and animation, can alter users' perceptions of websites. Poor website design can drive away potential customers. As competitions in the online channels among hotels become vigorous, hotel web design should ensure their design appealing to their customers and keep them stay with the website as long as possible. However, different people have different taste and personality is one of the factors that can affect human aesthetic choice. By the time of this study was carried out, it is still impossible for hotel to provide multiple website design that appeal people with different taste. Therefore this study is to examine the design attribute combinations that could attract the majority. To examine the hotel website performance, many researchers have proposed various website usability evaluation models. Prior usability evaluation methods focused on ease of use and efficiency. These studies have shown that if there is a positive first impression of a website, a person may disregard any possible negative issues he/she may encounter later. However, these models rarely include human factors and aesthetics of a website. The objectives of this thesis included three studies which examined the relationship between personality traits and web design attributes; identify the general web design features which were appealed by majority web users and specific attributes which were attractive to specific personality traits combinations, and finally categorize the Hong Kong hotel websites' design using the model generated in this study. The first part of this study empirically examined the relationship between users' human personality and their web design preferences. The results indicate that different personality combinations have different web design preferences. In the second study, by using genetic algorithm, eight general web design features, which are the basic components that appeal to the majority of users, and seven specific web design attributes, which are attractive only to certain personality combinations were identified. Based on the number of general features and specific attributes, the final part of this study divided Hong Kong hotel websites into four design styles: niche, minimal, generic, and specific. The model presented in this thesis bridges the research gaps in website evaluation by adding the dimensions of human factors and aesthetic attributes. This model could be applied to an automatic website evaluation system and provides recommendations on website design style. Hotel managers can use this model not only to identify their hotel website design style but also to identify that of their competitors.

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