Web Usability And Its Influence On Web Development

Web which in full is the World Wide Web, refers to a collection of interlinked hypertext documents accessed through the Internet. (Bangia n.d.)
The web sprung from the internet during the 1980s and this was possible because of Tim Berners Lee. The first trials of the World Wide Web were at the CERN in Switzerland in December 1990 where a browser and web server software was available(Ratner 2002).In 1992 a few preliminary sites existed in areas like University of Illinois and later on that year 26 sites were created. A web browser was required to enable one explore the web and this gave rise to development of web browsers. Among the first web browser to be created was Mosaic in 1993, although it was slow and did not manage downloading of pictures so well(Scobey & Lingras 2012).On April 30th 1993 CERN's director declared that WWW Technology would be freely usable by everyone i.e. no fee will be paid to CERN. In 1994 Netscape Corporation was founded by Marc Andreesen, and the World Wide Web Consortium was formed by Tim Berners Lee. From 1994 to 2000 the Internet saw massive growth, the like of which had not been seen with any preceding technology. The Internet era had commenced(Pearrow 2007).
The emergence of the web greatly enhanced various features of the internet. It made it possible for sound and pictures to be displayed and exchanged. Moreover, it made use of hyperlinks i.e. one could click a word and take you somewhere else. The web also brought about URL (Uniform Resource Locator) that made it possible to browse anywhere by just naming a site. It also brought about HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) a language that facilitated pages to display different fonts and sizes, pictures, colors among others.(Spool 1999)
Initially the web was majorly used to display information later on more advances services came along e.g. online shopping and online purchase of goods. Examples of large commercial sites that took advantage of these services was Amazon that specialized in the book market. By 1998, 750,000 websites were already created and this made it clear of the changes to come as a result of the internet.(Kenny 2006)

The following are various uses of the web and influence on web development:
1. Surfing the Web-Involves use of search engines like Bing, Google to gather information and knowledge on almost everything that exists.(Nielsen & Loranger 2006)
2. E-mail and Chatting-Various e-mail service providers like Yahoo and Google offer free email and chat services.
3. Social Networking sites-Various social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook among others have enabled users to interact with friend and fans across the world.
4. Businesses Online-Various products can now be sold and purchased online thanks to internet and the web. Websites such as Amazon and eBay offer such services.
5. Employment/Job sites-Employers and job seekers can both employee and get jobs respectively thanks to websites like Monster, CareerBuilder that offer job services.
6. News and Information-Nowadays it's easy to acquire both information and knowledge via the web thanks to websites like Wikipedia, scribd that host information on various fields.
7. Advertisements-Various services and products can now be advertised across the web that is world wise accessible thus creating a wider market for ones products and services.(Shin & Ju 2013)
8. Downloads-Various sites allow free download of songs, softwares, books, songs among others.
9. Online Payments-Various site like Moneybookers, PayPal has made transactions easy by allowing purchase of products using different currencies of the world.
10. Online Banking-Most of the banks nowadays offer online banking and thus there's no need of one to physical a bank's branch transfer funds or pay bills.
11. Sharing of files-People can now share files online thanks to websites such as 4shared, megaupload, mediafire that provide file sharing services that are convenient to use.
12. Online Gaming-People can now play games online including gambling and this servers as entertainment.

BANGIA, R. Internet & Web Design. Firewall Media.
KENNY, C. 2006. Overselling the Web?: Development And the Internet. Lynne Rienner Publishers.
NIELSEN, J. and H. LORANGER 2006. Prioritizing Web usability. New Riders.
PEARROW, M. 2007. Web Usability Handbook. Charles River Media.
RATNER, J. 2002. Human Factors and Web Development. CRC Press.
SCOBEY, P. and P. LINGRAS 2012. Web Programming and Internet Technologies: An E-commerce Approach. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
SHIN, M. and D.Y. JU 2013. Online Advertising as a New Story: Effects of User-Driven Photo Advertisement in Social Media In: A. MARCUS, ed. Design, User Experience, and Usability. Web, Mobile, and Product Design [online]. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, pp. 103'112. Available from: http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-39253-5_12 [Accessed February 23, 2014].
SPOOL, J.M. 1999. Web Site Usability: A Designer's Guide. Morgan Kaufmann.

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