The assessment of usability of electronic shopping: A heuristic evaluation

Sherry Y. Chen, Robert D. MacRedie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


Today there are thousands of electronic shops accessible via the Web. Some provide user-friendly features whilst others seem not to consider usability factors at all. Yet, it is critical that the electronic shopping interface is user-friendly so as to help users to obtain their desired results. This study applied heuristic evaluation to examine the usability of current electronic shopping. In particular, it focused on four UK-based supermarkets offering electronic services: including ASDA, Iceland, Sainsbury, and Tesco. The evaluation consists of two stages: a free-flow inspection and a task-based inspection. The results indicate that the most significant and common usability problems have been found to lie within the areas of 'User Control and Freedom' and 'Help and Documentation'. The findings of this study are applied to develop a set of usability guidelines to support the future design of effective interfaces for electronic shopping.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)516-532
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Information Management
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2005


  • Electronic commerce
  • Interface evaluation
  • Usability evaluation
  • Web-based application


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