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Introduction

In the fall of 2003 the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) and the American Institutes for Research (AIR) conducted a series of usability tests of the WAI Web site: http://www.w3c.org/wai/.

Participants in the usability tests were Web developers who were demographically representative of the end-users for the WAI Web site in that they had a professional or personal interest in Web development and Web accessibility issues. The participantsí understanding of accessibility issues ranged from novice to expert.

We conducted the usability test sessions on October 28th-29th, and November 12th in our usability research facility in Concord, Massachusetts.

The primary objectives of the usability tests were to: observe and evaluate the user experience as it relates to the navigation, information architecture, design, layout, structure, and information presentation across the Web site by examining users' ability to navigate the Web site and to complete key tasks. In addition, we sought to establish a baseline from which to measure the efficacy of future redesign prototypes, to gain a greater understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the current site, and to identify ways to improve the WAI site design.

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