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E-commerce applications automate many daily business activities. Users interact with e-commerce applications through menu-driven User Interface (Ul) components such as toolbars, dialogs, and windows. However, the tremendous number of functionalities may overwhelm the users. Users struggle to locate the appropriate Ul components to accomplish the tasks required by business processes. In this paper, we enhance e-commerce applications by improving their usability using the knowledge embedded in business process definitions. Our improved application provides contextual information to fulfill each business task. The improved application guides users through the various tasks in a step-by-step fashion. Through a controlled experiment, we demonstrate that our improved application offers a better usability experience for novice users by giving them more guidance and reducing the time needed to locate the next Ul component in a complex Ul.
Date of Publication: Dec. 2007