Websites are now the basic requirement to an increasing number of communication and business strategies. The usability of a website, effectiveness of its interface, as well as its amount of information, ease of navigation, and user friendliness of its functions, are central to the success of these strategies. Yet these important design qualities remain to date undefined and difficult to evaluate in a convenient and objective way. In this article, we describe the development of the Automatic Website Evaluation System (AWES), an automated website evaluation tool. AWES is applied to 61 Hong Kong hotel websites. HTML tags representing categories of the information pertinent to effective website design are automatically collected and classified. The results can provide objective and quantitative guidance to website design.
Information Technology & Tourism is the first scientific journal dealing with the exciting relationship between information technology and tourism. Information and communication systems embedded in a global net have profound influence on the tourism and travel industry. Reservation systems, distributed multimedia systems, highly mobile working places, electronic markets, and the dominant position of tourism applications in the Internet are noticeable results of this development. And the tourism industry poses several challenges to the IT field and its methodologies.