Audience-Driven Design Approach for Web Systems

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In the last years, Web systems have evolved from a simple collection of hypertext pages towards applications supporting complex (business) applications, offering (rapidly changing) information and functionality to a highly diversified audience. Although it is still easy to publish a couple of pages, it is now recognized that appropriate Web design methods are needed to develop more complex Web sites and applications (generally called Web systems). In the past, Web systems were created opportunistically without prior planning or analysis, and without any regard for methodology, resulting in Web systems that were lacking consistency in structure, navigation and presentation, and were not transparent. A lot of these systems were also suffering from the classical maintenance problems and development backlog. In the same period, Web technology evolved at an equally dazzling rate enabling more advanced Web applications, but with the unfavorably consequence that Web development is no longer simple and easy. The latest developments in the field of the Web are related to the vision of the Semantic Web: an extension of the current Web in which information is given well-defined meaning, better enabling computers and people to work in cooperation.
Together with the Web, a new problem unknown in classical information systems emerged: competition for the visitor's attention. Especially for commercial Web systems, it is important to hold the interest of the visitors and to keep them coming back. As stated by usability expert Nielsen: all the competitors in the world are but a mouse click away. Much more than in classical software systems, the usability of Web systems is a primary factor for their success.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2nd
EditorsMehdi Khosrow-pour
PublisherInformation Science Reference
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)978-1-60566-026-4
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Publication series

NameEncyclopedia of Information Science and Technology

Bibliographical note

Mehdi Khosrow-Pour


  • web-engineering
  • audience driven


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