Improving Usability of Website Design Using W3C Guidelines

Improving Usability of Website Design Using W3C Guidelines

G. Sreedhar (Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha (Deemed University), India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2255-3.ch696
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Abstract

Due to the unceasing growth of web sites and applications, developers and evaluators have interesting challenges not only from the development but also from the quality assurance point of view. The quality assurance was and is one of the challenging processes in software engineering as well as for the web engineering, as a new discipline. Although there exist many design guidelines, and metrics for the evaluation of web sites and applications, most of them lack a well-defined specification framework and even worse a strategy for consultation and reuse. The main theme of the research paper is to provide optimization techniques to improve the correctness of the website.
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Background

As we know, the quality assurance was and is one of the challenging processes in software engineering as well as for the web engineering, as a new discipline. Although there exists many design guidelines, and metrics for the evaluation of web sites and applications, most of them lack a well-defined specification framework and even worse a strategy for consultation and reuse. Some initial efforts have been recently made to classify metrics for some entity type as for example metrics for software products. Particularly, in last few years a set of web site metrics were defined and specified based on the data collection point of view. The quality model must be able to assess the quality of each and every aspect of the website and it should cover the process of all web engineering activities. A set of guidelines are evolved to build a qualitative model of a website. According to Drefus P (1998) a guideline consists of a design and evaluation principle to be observed to get and to guarantee a usable user interface [1]. Guidelines can be found in many different formats with contents varying both in quality and level of detail, ranging from ill-structured common sense statements to formalized rules ready for automatic guidelines checking. Certain rules are validated by experimental results provided by user tests, experiments in laboratory or other techniques. Guidelines can be classified (Figure 1) by type ranging from the most general to the most specific: principles, guidelines and recommendations.

Figure 1.

Website Guidelines and Sources

Principles are general objectives guiding conceptual User Interface (UI) decisions. They reflect the knowledge around human perception, learning and behavior and are generally expressed in generic terms like “Use images and metaphors consistent with real world” so that they can be applied for a wide range of cases. Guidelines are based on principles specific to a particular design domain. For example, a web design rule can stipulate to “use a consistent look and a visual language inside the site”. Some guidelines have to be interpreted more and altered to reflect the needs of a particular organization or a design case. Recommendations determine conceptual decisions specific to a particular domain of application and should reflect the needs and the terminology of a given organization. They are unambiguous statements so that no place for interpretation is left. Recommendations include ergonomic algorithms, user interface patterns and design rules. Design rules are functional and operational requirements specifying the design of a particular interface, e.g. “Every web page needs an informative title”. Beirekdar A et al (2002) developed a framework to define a Guideline Definition Language (GDL) to investigate quality evaluation procedure. The GDL expresses guideline information in a sufficiently rich manner so that evaluation engine can perform GDL-compliant guideline.

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Key Terms in this Chapter

Correctness: A merely technical aspect, which can be easily checked. Correctness is easily checked as an internal quality factor. The important aspects to consider in some environments are the professionalism and effectiveness of the web site that could be measured through how many different platforms are supported and it supports adaptivity and adaptability for a personalization.

W3C HTML Validator: The outputs of the Mark up Validator are a list of error messages and their interpretation W3C HTML Validator helps to ensure that documents are free of potential problems that can result in unexpected output when users view the bad documents with different browsers.

Text Presentation: Text Presentation is an important issue in display of the web content. These issues should be properly handled in presenting 100% correct text presentation.

Website Content: The collection of web pages organized on a Web server. Web pages are of two types, static and dynamic.

Graphics Presentation: The graphic presentation is the important issue in presenting pictorial and multimedia components.

Guidelines: Consists of a design and evaluation principle to be observed to get and to guarantee a usable user interface.

Website Errors: Website errors related to website content cause incorrect display of some components of Web pages.

Link Presentation: The link presentation is important aspect in organization of web pages. The links in a website may be internal or external links.

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