Journal of International Technology and Information Management

Document Type



In the increasingly competitive environment of electronic commerce, companies are paying careful attention to Web site design and function to attract and retain both traffic and customers. One key factor that has been shown to increase both is Web site usability. This paper presents and tests a Web site usability research framework derived from prior literature. Fourteen Fortune 500 retail Web sites are examined by 261 potential customers and rated on aspects of usability. Results show that Content and Ease of Use are not currently differentiating sites with regard to usability (these attributes are expected and required just to survive in electronic commerce), but Identity, Download Delay, Trust Assurance, Made-for-the-medium, Responsiveness and Emotion can all be differentiators for a site’s usability.