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Comparing Web Accessibility between Major Retailers and Novelties for E-Commerce

Written by Jinmeng Xu

Paper category

Master Thesis


Computer Science




Thesis: The connection between research questions and methods The case study method is a design for collecting scientific data from different disciplines (Mills, Durepos, & Wiebe, 2010, p. 66). Usually, the process is the researcher's in-depth analysis of a case, usually a procedure, activity, process, or one or more cases in multiple fields, especially evaluation. In other words, collect detailed information of one or more cases through different types of data collection procedures, and then analyze the collected data through a statistical analysis process. According to Yin (2017), there are three conditions that lead to the use of case studies. They are "(a) the form of the research question asked, (b) the researcher's control over actual behavioral events, and (c) the degree of attention to contemporary events rather than entirely historical events" (pages 39-44). Facts Above, only the first two will help this work to identify the case study as a method. First of all, the form of the research question is one of the conditions for selection. The three questions are objective questions about accessibility levels and Boolean logic, so their data should definitely be tested by specific measurements without participants. However, survey research usually recruits respondents who answer questionnaires or structured interview questions to collect data, either longitudinally or cross-sectionally (Fowler, 2009). Obviously, due to subjective human participation, the survey method is inappropriate. Then another factor is the control of the research process. In fact, this experiment is widely accepted as a method of controlling variables. MacKenzie (2013) claimed that empirical research attempts to determine whether a particular treatment will affect the outcome. Generally, experiments always test hypotheses about the relationship between the dependent variable and the independent variable. Obviously, although there may be differences between major retailers and novelty sites, there is no direct and definitive relationship between category and web accessibility. Therefore, the experimental method also failed. In short, case studies are the most appropriate method for evaluating network accessibility. Case study methods are used to investigate contemporary issues in real life. The data can be longitudinal or cross-sectional. Therefore, case studies can be viewed as strategies using qualitative or quantitative data (Mills, Durepos, and Wiebe, 2010, pages 207-208). The purpose of qualitative research work is always an in-depth analysis of related research points, usually for a special phenomenon or problem, by exploring a unique case. Quantitative projects are executed consistently to summarize the perspectives of related issues from multiple cases. 2.2 The work process is the overall process first, centering on the accessibility of the Internet, and then narrowing the entire scope of work. After clarifying the scope and boundaries, you can accurately formulate the main purpose and research questions to guide the following steps. Secondly, through literature review, understand the relevant academic background and reveal the reference theory of measurement analysis. Once the collection method is determined, empirical research can be conducted to collect actual data. In order to make a final contribution, the collected data needs to be analyzed and discussed. Through the discussion of the original data, the conclusion will be revealed. Eventually, the entire work is completed and closed. Among them, the empirical data collection process is: first retrieve the list of websites from Alexa's Rank List, and then filter these websites to select cases based on access rights and domain names (explained later); when all samples of two groups are chosen, cases would be scanned by WAVE tool to fetch all required raw data, then using these numbers to calculate accessibility level values ​​by WAQM model; Finally, implement a terminal running file to capture Fona values ​​to present keyboard navigation accessibility levels. 2.3 Methods According to Bryman & Bell (2015, p. 27), research methods can be divided into three types: deduction, induction and abduction. Specifically, deductive research starts by testing the correctness of existing hypotheses, and deductive research helps explain "surprising facts" or "mysteries." Only inductive research methods that explore the emergence of phenomena and patterns are suitable for testing the network accessibility of e-commerce. At the same time, Sanders et al. (2016) pointed out that logically speaking, inductive research produces untested conclusions, not true or testable conclusions. In addition, in terms of generalization, inductive methods often go from specific generalization to generalization, which matches the general situation of the accessibility of e-commerce networks from some samples, which is the goal of this article. 2.4 Designing descriptive research aims to cast key concerns and then try to describe and determine the current situation (Ethridge, 2004, p. 24). Here, customized descriptive case studies are designed for subsequent design. For comparisons between major retailers and novelty websites, a sample should be selected from the category as the survey case, because it is obviously impossible to test all websites. Limited by time, efficiency, researchers and other practical factors, the sample size is set to 45, which means that 45 websites are individually selected from each category. 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