Communications of the IIMA


Union membership has undergone a dramatic decline and some have hailed the internet as a means for unions to reverse their membership declines. This study examines the usability of union websites. The content of union websites has been analyzed, but the usefulness of that content, and the overall usability of the websites, has not been assessed. In order for unions to fully utilize the internet and realize the potential benefits of cyberspace usage, they must provide websites that users find easy to use and that provide useful content. This study employs Hassan and Li's (2005) benchmarking approach in order to evaluate usability and content usefulness of union websites. Hassan and Li's (2005) framework assesses screen appearance, media use, interactivity, accessibility, navigation, consistency, and content usefulness. This framework was applied to the websites of four U.S. unions: a craft union, a service sector union, a manufacturing sector union, and a public sector union. The results indicated that some unions may be missing up to one-third of the criteria deemed important by experts in the area of usability.