A comprehensive framework to evaluate websites: literature review and development of goodweb

Rosalie Allison*, Catherine Hayes, Cliodna McNulty, Vicki Young

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Attention is turning toward increasing the quality of websites and quality evaluation to attract new users and retain existing users. Objective: This scoping study aimed to review and define existing worldwide methodologies and techniques to evaluate websites and provide a framework of appropriate website attributes that could be applied to any future website evaluations. Methods: We systematically searched electronic databases and gray literature for studies of website evaluation. The results were exported to EndNote software, duplicates were removed, and eligible studies were identified. The results have been presented in narrative form. Results: A total of 69 studies met the inclusion criteria. The extracted data included type of website, aim or purpose of the study, study populations (users and experts), sample size, setting (controlled environment and remotely assessed), website attributes evaluated, process of methodology, and process of analysis. Methods of evaluation varied and included questionnaires, observed website browsing, interviews or focus groups, and Web usage analysis. Evaluations using both users and experts and controlled and remote settings are represented. Website attributes that were examined included usability or ease of use, content, design criteria, functionality, appearance, interactivity, satisfaction, and loyalty. Website evaluation methods should be tailored to the needs of specific websites and individual aims of evaluations. GoodWeb, a website evaluation guide, has been presented with a case scenario. Conclusions: This scoping study supports the open debate of defining the quality of websites, and there are numerous approaches and models to evaluate it. However, as this study provides a framework of the existing literature of website evaluation, it presents a guide of options for evaluating websites, including which attributes to analyze and options for appropriate methods.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14372
JournalJMIR Formative Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Primary Care Unit, Public Health England. This study is not applicable as secondary research.

Publisher Copyright:
©Rosalie Allison, Catherine Hayes, Cliodna A M McNulty, Vicki Young. Originally


  • Human-computer interaction
  • Quality testing
  • Scoping study
  • Software testing
  • Usability
  • User experience


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