A User-based Design Process for Web Sites
Eileen G. Abels, Associate Professor
Marilyn Domas White, Associate Professor
College of Library and Information Services
University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742
Karla Hahn, Agriculture and Life Sciences Bibliographer
McKeldin Library,
University of Maryland,
College Park, MD 20742

        This paper reports on Phase II of a two-part project to identify and implement user-based design criteria in World Wide Web sites. The test site is a Web page for the academic business community. As an alternative to existing, largely ad-hoc design processes, the authors developed a user-based design process, gathering user input at three different times in the process. Delineating this four-stage process (Information-gathering; Development; Test and Evaluation; and Implementation) is a major focus of the paper. In addition to explaining the process in detail, the paper reports on the second stage of this process, which involves operationalizing definitions of the criteria and translating the criteria into Web page features, and, to some extent, on the evaluation activities undertaken during Stage 3. Already reported are the results of Stage 1, which gathered user criteria for evaluating Web sites through a focus group session.