Title page for ETD etd-11192002-164448

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Rao, Sushma
Author's Email Address sushma@vt.edu
URN etd-11192002-164448
Title Application of Human-computer Interaction Theories to Information Design on Internet Portals
Degree Master of Science
Department Industrial and Systems Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Smith-Jackson, Tonya L. Committee Chair
Scales, Glenda Rose Committee Member
Williges, Robert C. Committee Member
  • Information Foraging Theory
  • Human-computer Interaction
  • Web Information Design
  • Remote Data Collection
  • Information Scent
  • Internet Portals
  • HCI Theories
Date of Defense 2002-07-11
Availability unrestricted
Internet portals are increasingly becoming a primary source of information. A portal is a gateway to information on the Internet or a hub from which users may locate relevant information (Strauss, 2000). Because university Web sites have various user classes, universities are beginning to adopt the portal concept for their Web sites.

The study conducted aimed to determine the effect of tailoring information content and presentation style on a university Web portal. User ratings of information design on three metrics and user task performance measures of time and errors were compared for four prototypes. Three prototypes were built on the basis of user requirements and two Human-computer Interaction (HCI) theories and one was a replica of an existing academic information portal. The three metrics were derived from the HCI theories.

The contributions of the study are a determination of user acceptance of and user performance with the tailored presentation styles and three metrics derived from HCI theories that can be used to compare alternative information presentation styles for portals. An important contribution is the remote data collection technique that was used in the study and a time-stamping technique that recorded clicks on hyperlinks.

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