Evaluating and enhancing websites : a case study of an Eritrean state owned media website - shabait.com

Mahmoud, Siham Mukhtar (2004-12)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2004.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The Ministry of Information of Eritrea is basically aimed at providing the society with news, information, education and entertainment. In addition to its service presentation through radio, TV and printed press the Ministry of Information has taken the initiative to present its services in the digital way by publishing a website known as shabait.com. But as the technique is new to the country as well as to the organization, it is to be expected that there will be inaccuracies in the way the website was designed. Hence, evaluating and redesigning shabait.com with the goal of making it informative, attractive and easy to use will be very beneficial to the organization as well as to users of the website. This recently launched website is not very attractive and not successfully directed to its users. Therefore, the main aim of this study is to assess and find the best way of presenting information digitally to the Eritrean society, as well as to anyone interested in finding out about Eritrea through the State owned media website. This study was firstly approached by gathering previously written relevant information from books, journals, and the Internet. In addition to that interviews with concerned people in Eritrea were held to understand the aim, difficulties and challenges of the website. Subsequently the website was assessed according to the evaluation criteria developed, based on the literature review. The evaluation of the website assumed three different approaches of qualitative as well as quantitative types. A usability test with both quantitative and qualitative questions was done through a questionnaire, which was analyzed statistically. A competitive analysis, of qualitative type with two international websites was also made. In order to create a good quality website, it is essential to have clearly specified goals, policies and strategies, and adequate advanced human as well as technological resources, so that it will be easy to overcome the common challenges such as competition, diversity of users, budget constraints, and inadequacy of policy instruments. The findings of the evaluation of shabait.com indicate that the website is not attractive, is user unfriendly, of low content quality as well as with low download speed and, more importantly, was not advertised well. Therefore, shabait.com is not fit to be considered as a sole first hand information provider website for the Eritrean society as well as for anybody who is concerned about Eritrea. At the end of the study recommendations of how the website can be modified to be successful are listed.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doelwit van die Ministerie van Inligting van Eritrea is om nuus, inligting, opvoeding en vermaak aan die gemeenskap te verskaf. Bykomend tot die radio, TV en die gedrukte media, het die Ministerie van Inligting nou ook besluit om 'n digitale diens te lewer deur middel van 'n webwerf bekend as shabait.com. Aangesien die betrokke tegnieke vir die land sowel as vir die organisasie iets nuuts is, kan daar verwag word dat die ontwerp van die webwerf onakkuraathede sal toon. Dus moet shabait.com evalueer en verbeter word om dit sodoende aantreklik en gebruikersvriendelik te maak; dit sal tot die voordeel strek van die organisasie so wel as die gebruikers. Hierdie jong webwerf is tans nie baie aantreklik of maklik om te gebruik nie. Dus is die doelwit van hierdie studie om die beste wyses te vind om die gemeenskap van Eritrea, sowel as ander belangstellendes, deur middel van 'n webwerf wat deur die staat beheer word, digitaal van inligting te bedien. Relevante geskrewe inligting is bekom deur middel van boeke, joernale en die Internet. Daar is ook onderhoude gevoer met mense betrokke by shabait.com om sodoende die doelwitte, probleme en uitdagings van die webwerf beter te verstaan. Daarna is die webwerf evalueer volgens ontwikkelde kriteria gebaseer op die literatuuroorsig. Vir die evaluasie is drie benaderings gebruik, beide kwalitatief en kwantitatief. 'n Bruikbaarheidstoets is deur middel van 'n vraelys gedoen met kwalitatiewe sowel as kwantitatiewe vrae en die antwoorde is statisties ontleed. Twee internasionale webwerwe is ook ontleed sodat hulle gehalte met dié van shabait.com vergelyk kon word. Om 'n webwerf van goeie gehalte te ontwerp, is dit noodsaaklik om duidelik omskrewe doelwitte, beleide en stategië, asook genoegsaam opgeleide mense en gevorderde tegnologiese hulpbronne te hê sodat die uitdagings soos kompetisie, verskeidenheid van gebruikers, begrotingsbeperkings en swak beleidsinstrumente oorkom kan word. Die bevindinge van die evaluasie van shabait.com toon dat die webwerf onaantreklik en gebruikersonvriendelik is, die inhoud is van swak gehalte, die aflaai spoed is laag en en die werf is nie goed adverteer nie. Daarom is die werf nie geskik om beskou te word as die enigste eerstehandse inligtingsverskaffer webwerf vir die gemeenskap van Eritrea sowel as ander belangstellendes nie. Aan die einde van die studie is daar aanbevelings vir die verbetering van die webwerf.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/49952
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