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A centre of expertise in digital information management www.ukoln.ac.uk UKOLN is supported by: Benchmarking Web sites Marieke Guy Interoperability Focus.

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Presentation on theme: "A centre of expertise in digital information management www.ukoln.ac.uk UKOLN is supported by: Benchmarking Web sites Marieke Guy Interoperability Focus."— Presentation transcript:

1 A centre of expertise in digital information management UKOLN is supported by: Benchmarking Web sites Marieke Guy Interoperability Focus

2 A centre of expertise in digital information management A brief Introduction…. Part of the Interoperability Focus Team Work in UKOLN Based at the University of Bath Funded by JISC and MLA HE / FE and cultural heritage sector remit Previous roles….

3 A centre of expertise in digital information management Today’s Presentation Take a look at: –Common problems we have with our sites –Auditing and evaluating tools that can help –Quality assurance methodology Have a think about how you can: –Benchmark your Web site –Adopt this methodology in your organisation, region, sector, …

4 A centre of expertise in digital information management About Benchmarking Benchmarking is about: –Sharing –Learning from best practices –Learning from mistakes others have made Benchmarking is not about: –League tables –Prizes for the ‘best’ Note: Organisations have different priorities, levels of resources, starting points and organisational politics.

5 A centre of expertise in digital information management Your Web site…

6 A centre of expertise in digital information management Does it Work? It is useful to check key pages for accessibility, validation and functionality Web page validators include: –NetMechanic –Dr Watson –DrHTML – single pages only –…

7 A centre of expertise in digital information management Is it Accessible? The Bobby Java application can check the accessibility of Web sites (now licensed software) The WebXACT service can check the quality, accessibility and privacy of individual Web pages (online Bobby) – WAVE is another alternative to Bobby

8 A centre of expertise in digital information management You can find out the size of your home page using various tools: NetMechanic Bobby … How Big is it?

9 A centre of expertise in digital information management Are There Broken Links? Monitoring the number of broken links on your Web site is very important Desktop and Web- based tools are available: –Xenu –LinkAlarm –Linkguard –Nodeworks –NetMechanic –SiteValet –…

10 A centre of expertise in digital information management How Popular Is Your Site? There are a number of services that will tell you how many pages link to your Web site –LinkPopularity –WebSiteGarage –Netscape’s What’s Related service is used through the Netscape browser –Google info:URL search

11 A centre of expertise in digital information management What About Other Browsers? Does your home page (and Web site) work in: –Netscape very popular in UK HE) –Firefox –IE (most widely used browser) –Significant (all?) versions and platforms of above –Lynx (text browser which may be used by visually impaired) –AnyBrowser –DejaVu

12 A centre of expertise in digital information management Addressing User Issues You should be aware that automated tools will not guarantee that a Web site is: –Useable, accessible or functional  … There will still be a need for user testing You should consider: –Systematic usability and accessibility testing –Formal procedures – don’t ask your mate; don’t tell them what they should do, … –It need not be expensive “5 people will spot 90% of the problems” –See

13 A centre of expertise in digital information management Conclusion Different tools give different results and results can be limited. The results should be analysed carefully - like statistics Independent testing services can be beneficial Comparison is useful However a league table is not enough, for this type of evaluation. To have a point there should be follow up action

14 A centre of expertise in digital information management Approaches to Fixing Errors So you’ve found errors on your Web site, what should you do? –Fix the errors straight away –Inform the page maintainer –Do nothing – too many other more important things to do –Do nothing – the Web site has been "published" and I don't rewrite history –Do nothing – it's not my problem, it's a problem caused by the HTML authoring tool everyone uses –…

15 A centre of expertise in digital information management A QA Approach Quality Control: –Fixing errors –Fire-fighting Quality Assurance (QA): –Documented policies –Systematic procedures for monitoring compliance –Considering workflow processes –Fixing processes so errors won't reappear –Audit trails

16 A centre of expertise in digital information management QA Focus QA Focus: –JISC-funded project to support JISC's digital library programme –Supports QA development which help ensure deliverables are usable & interoperable QA Focus Deliverables: –Surveys and case studies –Advisory documents and Policy documents –Descriptions of tools –Self-assessment toolkit

17 A centre of expertise in digital information management Documentation: Advice Advisory briefing documents are: –Brief, focussed documents –Informed by findings of the surveys Advisory briefing documents are: –Brief, focussed documents –Informed by findings of the surveys MG

18 A centre of expertise in digital information management Documentation: Case Studies Case Studies are: –Written by projects themselves –Describe the solution for a particular problem –Include details of lessons learnt Case Studies are: –Written by projects themselves –Describe the solution for a particular problem –Include details of lessons learnt

19 A centre of expertise in digital information management Self Assessment Toolkit The toolkit consists of: –Examples of QA procedures –Documented examples of use of testing tools –Self-assessment questionnaires –Advice on standards and best practices –Case studies –FAQs –… MG

20 A centre of expertise in digital information management Useful Approach To Tools,tools approach Applies to all resources on Web site Covers HTML and CSS validation and various other tests Some recursive apps (,rvalidate ) Easily implemented with single line redirect,tools approach Applies to all resources on Web site Covers HTML and CSS validation and various other tests Some recursive apps (,rvalidate ) Easily implemented with single line redirect

21 A centre of expertise in digital information management Policies Maybe useful to develop a policy for the accessibility of your Web site Policy: Web Standards Standard: XHTML 1.0 and CSS 2.0 Architecture: Use of SSIs and text editor Exceptions: Automatically-derived files Checking: Use,validate after update Audit Trail: Use,rvalidate monthly and document findings Policy example

22 A centre of expertise in digital information management Implementing Best Practices Some dangers: –Being lead astray by commercial Web development companies – they try and sell you a solution based on their areas of expertise –Being led astray by well-meaning (a) kids or (b) senior staff with misunderstand of best practices –I have to use my organisation's CMS Some solutions: –You need an understanding of best practices –QA Focus briefing documents may help –…

23 A centre of expertise in digital information management Where do you go from here? Could the resources we have looked at today be of use? Is the QA Focus methodology applicable to your Web site? What additional areas would you find it useful to look at? Do you have any ideas you would like to share? Personal action plan?

24 A centre of expertise in digital information management Personal Action Plan Useful to list the actions you intend to carry out when you return to work This can include: –Your own personal actions –Recommendations for your department –Recommendations for your organisation

25 A centre of expertise in digital information management Comments and Questions Your comments and questions are welcome Thanks!


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