Evaluation of e-commerce websites accessibility and usability: an e-commerce platform analysis with the inclusion of blind users

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Ramiro Gonçalves
José Luís Martins
Frederico Branco
Au Yong Oliveira,M
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Considering the importance associated with e-commerce website accessibility and usability, a study on one of the most relevant Portuguese e-commerce websites has been performed using both automatic and manual assessment procedures. In an initial stage, we evaluated the chosen website with a Web accessibility and usability automatic tool called SortSite; after that, we performed a manual evaluation to verify each previously detected error and present possible solutions to overcome those faults. In a third phase, three usability specialists have been used to perform a heuristic evaluation of the chosen website. Finally, user tests with blind people were carried out in order to fully assess the compliance with accessibility and usability guidelines and standards. The results showed that the platform had a good score regarding the automatic evaluation; however, when the heuristic and manual evaluations were performed, some accessibility and usability problems were discovered. Moreover, the user test results showed bad marks regarding efficiency, effectiveness, and satisfaction by the group of participants. As a conclusion, we highlight user interaction problems and propose seven recommendations focused on enhancing accessibility and usability of not only the evaluated e-commerce website, but also of other similar ones. © 2017 Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany