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That IS and IT practitioners should use best practice in information systems development is pretty much universally taken for granted. We expect systems to be developed that enhance the user experience and allow them to engage in a satisfying and productive interaction. The paper posits that all is not well with this hypothesis. It is suggested here that many firm in the Low-cost carrier (LCC) sector are using Web technologies to inhibit or avoid customer service and to construct IS-enabled barriers behind which firms profit from their distance. The emergence of the LCC model and the nature of the industry are explored before a study, conducted in Ireland, is presented that scrutinises their Web practices. Participants were found to be wary in their online interaction and cynical about problematic or omitted features. It is suggested that more extensive teaching of ¿good¿ practice and ethics in IS design is merited, and that perhaps, the Faustian pact that delivers cheap flights for little service might have to be broken.
Barry, C., Hogan, M. and Torres, A. (2010). A study of opacity in web design practices. In 13th Irish Academy of Management Annual Conference. Cork, Ireland. 1-3 September, 2010.