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: Site Reviews, Accessibility and Usability
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Official University Web sites are electronic publications and must be reviewed by the Office of Public Relations. Obviously it is not reasonable to have every Web page reviewed, therefore only new or redesigned sites must be sent to PR for review.

The Site Review performs two functions. First, it allows PR to make sure sites comply with University policy and obligations, and to notify site editors of potential problems, conflicts or misinterpretations that would reflect poorly on the site's unit and/or the University as a whole. Second, PR conducts a full assessment of the site and provides feedback on technical problems or concerns such as bad links.

It is easy to under emphasize the importance of the dual issues of Accessibility and Usability. The University has committed that all Web sites will meet accessibility standards, not to mention that we would like to avoid the bad PR that would result from choosing to discriminate against people with disabilities. Equally, the design and content values are lessened. Site Reviews are intended to help in these areas.

A PR Site Review consists of the following:

  1. Check for proper use of UK logos and unit signatures.
  2. Check for proper use of names of university buildings, programs and administration.
  3. Consistency with Web Policy and Standards.
  4. Compliance with Section 508 guidelines as interpreted by W3C Markup Validator Service.*
  5. Consistency in design.
  6. Coherence of navigation.
  7. Errors in the HTML, CSS or Javascript. (Where possible specific code recommendations will be made.)
  8. General usability issues.
  9. Proper display in latest versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Opera on the PC and Safari and Opera on the Mac, all at several display sizes.
  10. Minimum validation of HTML and other code.*
  11. Any context concerns relative to superior or subordinate units for the site.
  12. Compliance with copyright law as well as other legal issues that may appear.
  13. General suggestions that may better help market the site or improve usability.

In all cases, the review will consist of an itemized list. Where an item indicates a suggestion only, it will be clearly indicated with the words "Your Choice" or "FYI". Whenever possible solutions or corrections will be provided as part of the response.

There are two points to keep in mind. First, please allow at least 2 to 4 weeks prior to your planned launch date in order to receive your Site Review. Second, be prepared to respond in an item by item manner to your site review. For example:

1. Link to "journal of science" on journals.html is bad.

Fixed.

2. The color orange on grants.html clashed with your design. Your Choice

That is the color of the corresponding professional body so we wish to keep it.

Experience shows that replies which "answer" each item work best.

Now let's do a hands-on exercise by first opening Notepad on your computer. We will be creating a web page and adding a UK navigation bar.

Then we will look at Gaining Access...

*Although PR will use AIS's Web Accessibility Toolbar to review each site, UK Web Publishers are expected to use the online utility provided by W3C while developing their site prior to submitting it for a Site Review and to pay particular attention to Warnings, not just Errors..


This site was last updated on June 21, 2011 . Please direct questions and comments regarding this page to UK Public Relations.

An Equal Opportunity University