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Web Accessibility Initiative: Strategies, guidelines, and resources to make the Web accessible to people with disabilities

WAI Site Heuristic Evaluation

This document includes an evaluation of the current WAI Web site. Comments and additions can be submitted to wai-site-comments@w3.org (a public archive of comments is also available).

Feature Group Description
Design The visual design does not present the information on the site in a polished manner.
Design The visual design does little to help facilitate the users' interaction.
Design The site lacks visual appeal. It does however feel like one site based on its visual presentation.
Design In some cases subheads have more visual weight than their parents.
Design The visual design does present the information on the site in a trustworthy manner.
Design Credibility is not established through the visual design system of the site.
Functionality The site does not articulate it's purpose. The home page looks to be a collection of links. It assumes a base knowledge. The quote from Tim Berners-Lee does not tell the user anything about the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).
Functionality The site does not use natural human language. It is dependent on a user having a base knowledge that should not be assumed.
Functionality There are some indications of possible goals of the site. Unfortunately the user is not given context around the content to enable them to determine what the intended goal of the content is
Functionality The 404 page does not recognize a local directory parent.
Navigation The site is extremely dependent on the browser back button.
Navigation The site does a very good job of labeling and page headings. Unfortunately the user is very frequently linked into the body area of a page via anchor links, which provide no overall context to the user.
Navigation With so many in line links the pages can easily become overwhelming
Navigation It is quite easy when looking for new content to get in link loop.
Navigation It is very hard to tell if you have changed a content area or driven deeper into the content you are in.
Navigation The site does not label anchor links as such.
Navigation Without an explicit hierarchy this makes the site hard to use at times.
Navigation Links at times do not match the term used on the corresponding page.
Navigation The site does not follow best practices pertaining to GUI.
Navigation The site does not tell the user what content area they are in. It is very easy for a user to transverse sites areas without knowing it.
Navigation Generally the error prevention is out of date.
Content The site is narrowly focused on the expert user and their goals. It does little in the way of helping users that are looking for guidance.
Content Pages make use of very similar content and repeat similar concepts, confusing the user.
Content The pages do not group concepts into consumable chunks. They very frequently overload the user with information without giving context.
Content Flat content structure doesn't give relational context.
Content Content position appears to have no relation to its importance. Though with such a wide user base, it is hard to say if it is narrowly focused or unfocused.
Content The content does not allow the user to easily dill deeper. It is very easy for users to find links on a topic, but the site does not tell the user if they are driving deeper or shifting content areas.
Content On one end the pace is very fast and cryptic, on the other it is appropriate. The site needs to better modify its style based on its target audience. It appears to write the same (technical) no matter who the intended audience is.
Content After going through the site map, it appears to have plenty of information. Unfortunately the site does not facilitate the user who is new to the site. It also fails to accelerate the tasks of the expert users.
Content The site does not take into account the technical range of its audience. It relies heavily on a knowledge base that may not be present.
Content It speaks WAI language. It is very difficult to determine the differences in content and it does not use natural human language. This is magnified when a novice user visits the site.

This is one of the biggest failings of the site is that it does not explain unfamiliar concepts in way users will understand.

Note: For example if a user goes to the User Agent page, it does not tell the user what a User Agent is. Rather it dives into User Agents and again users terms foreign to the general populous.

Content The site does a good job at keeping the web site current. Though it would benefit the user to be able to see what areas of a site area have been updated recently.