The aim of this study was to explore 22 Web site evaluation reports, or sections of larger evaluation reports centering on a Web site, to identify, define, and provide examples of the range of evaluation focus areas to inform the design of Web site evaluation studies. The sample included a group of reports contributed to the Informalscience.org online database. Prior to this study, staff members at the Science Museum of Minnesota organized and coded the database of evaluation reports as part of the Building Informal Science Education (BISE) project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). In this analysis, grounded theory methodology and the constant comparative method (Glaser & Strauss, 2009) were used to identify and define nine major evaluation focus areas that appeared in one or more of the 22 reports: Target Audience and User Characteristics, Awareness, Motivation, Access, Usability, Use, and User Impact and System Effectiveness. In addition, the analysis identified connections among these elements to present a guiding framework for website evaluation design. The guiding framework displays 7 major evaluation focus areas as sequential, necessary steps to accomplish User Impacts and System Effectiveness.
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