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Quality of UK Cultural Websites: evaluation Kate Fernie ICT Adviser (EU projects) MLA.

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Presentation on theme: "Quality of UK Cultural Websites: evaluation Kate Fernie ICT Adviser (EU projects) MLA."— Presentation transcript:

1 Quality of UK Cultural Websites: evaluation Kate Fernie ICT Adviser (EU projects) MLA

2 MLA The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council is the national development agency working for and on behalf of museums, libraries and archives provides strategic leadership acts an advocate develops capacity and promotes innovation and change

3 Quality principles for cultural websites Celebrating European cultural diversity by providing access to digital cultural content for all Transparent – Effective – Maintained – Accessible - User- centred – Responsive - Multi-linguality – interoperable – managed - preserved

4 User centered People are not disabled - they are disabled from using websites A usable website is one that can be used to a desired level of ease of use

5 Disabled People and the Web: Web Accessibility in the Cultural Sector Web audit commissioned by MLA from City University: –100 Museum websites –100 Library websites –100 Archive websites –Additionally: 25 International museum websites –Automated testing + user testing Centre for HCI Design

6 Automated testing 325 homepages tested: Against W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Using WebXM

7 Automated testing: findings 42% of MLA websites tested passed priority 1 (level A) automated checks 3% passed priority 2 (level AA) …by 2005 all public sector websites need to be accessible to disabled people to Level AA

8 Automated testing: findings One homepage passed Priority 1, 2 and 3 (Level AAA) automated checks BUT page flagged 32 manual warnings

9 Checks and warnings 1.1 Provide a text equivalent for every non-text element (alt) Automated checks: HTML code (image) Manual checks: ensure description is appropriate and helpful

10 Accessible? The average cultural website homepage presents disabled users with over 40 automated and manual violations and potential instances of violations

11 User testing User testing of 25 UK and international websites by a user panel of: Disabled people including people who are blind, partially sited or dyslexic Accessibility experts from City University

12 User testing Each user looked at 4 websites 2 representative tasks per website: –What time does the museum/library/archive open on a Monday? –What facilities does the museum/library/ archive provide for disabled visitors? Using assistive technologies Success rates, problems, ease of use…

13 User testing: findings 189 accessibility incidents uncovered 22% not identified by automated testing Key problems: 1.Orientation and navigation problems 2.Issues related to presentation of content 3.Alternative descriptions of images and other media

14 User testing: findings 56% of user panel members felt lost when exploring the websites –Poorly named links that lead to unexpected content –Inconsistent means of navigating around the site (links, navigation bars, images as active links, icons…) User centered?

15 Website with problems…

16 User testing: findings Blind, partially sighted and dyslexic users failed 24% of the tasks they were asked to do: –Blind users failed 33% of tasks –Archive web sites produced more task failures –Archive web sites performed better in the automated tests Effective?

17 Website audit: conclusions Cultural institutions need to improve their website accessibility (in UK and overseas) BUT the results of this audit are BETTER than a survey of 1000 UK public websites by the Disability Rights Commission Those websites that followed NOF technical guidelines would have performed better

18 Recommendations Accessibility should be integral Cultural institutions should develop policies, plans and targets to improve –Involve disabled people in design and testing –Make online collections accessible to specific groups of disabled people It is important to promote good practice and develop guidance

19 Jodi Mattes Access Award

20 Find out more Full web accessibility audit report available from April 12 th 2004:

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