Six months of work completed, the final submitted thesis paper is attached. Click on the link below to download.
This project has focused on the usability of Blogware and Weblogs, the biggest area of Web 2.0 user generated content. This study has focused on one type of Blogware: free, hosted, browser-based Blogware. This study has also focused on one type of Weblog: personal Weblogs, written by individuals, not by groups of authors or for businesses.
The main question was whether or not the usability of free hosted browser-based Blogware impacts, or not, on the usability of the personal Weblogs they create? The hypothesis was that Blogware with good usability will be more likely to generate Weblogs with better usability. The aims and objectives of this study were to analyse the relationship between free hosted browser-based Blogware usability and the usability of personal Weblogs they create.
As this has focused on free hosted Blogware used through a browser this study is not conclusive for all types of Blogware but the conclusions indicate areas for further research. This study has focused on the top five (most used) free hosted browser-based Blogware. The variation in the features in UI design between Blogware has been controlled through the tasks used in usability testing to ensure the results focus on the usability and not the features of Blogware. Additionally as this study has focused on Personal Weblogs, the conclusions may not extend to other types of Weblogs, but indicate areas for further research.
Previous work has looked at the relationship between Blogware technology and Weblog success but has not investigated the usability of Blogware technology and Weblog success.
The contribution of this study is to identify whether or not the usability of browser-based Blogware impacts, or not, on the usability and usage of personal weblogs they create. This could then be used as the basis for further research into investigating the usability of other Blogware, other Weblog types, other Web 2.0 software such and other Blogger types.
The methodology has included Expert Heuristic Usability Evaluation, Summative and Comparative usability testing and a SUMI questionnaire. The quantitative and qualitative data collected have provided an empirical basis to learn and make judgements about Blogware usability for the development of design guidelines to improve browser-based Blogware usability. The data collected also provide usability best practice guidelines for bloggers.
After identifying which Blogware tools created which of the Weblogs this study has analysed and identified that there is a correlation between the usability of the Blogware and the usability of the Weblogs they created.
This paper presents the findings. Click on the link below to download the PDF of the thesis: