WAI website feedback - Sorin Stefan

My name is Sorin Stefan and I work closely with Mr. Ian Jacobs (Head of
Communications W3C) and Dominique HazaŽl-Massieux in creating a better user
experience for our community on the w3.org website and further.

I'm writing you because I couldn't ignore the fact the you have big
usability/design/IA problems on the current Web Accessibility Evaluation
Tools page.

Here's a couple of problems that I would like to address with suggested
solutions too:

The need:
As a web developer, in order to address the accessibility issues of my
project I need tools in order to be able to spot problems and solve them.
Your tools page needs to gain my credibility that are up-to-date and indeed

The problem:
Most tools are out-dated (some since 10 years ago) and there is no other
element that would convince me make use of that page.

The solution:
Put the most used, updated and reviewed tools upfront in order for the
people to see them quickly so they can take a quick decision.
In order to gain more trust you need to show that there's a real
organization behind the site, also highlight the expertise in your
organization and in the content and services you provide.
Back up each tool with information that verifies the accuracy of the
Update the site's content often, give users the opportunity to review and
comment on these tools.

The need:
Your target audience is focused on finding the right tool to meet their
immediate need. That tool might be a Screen Reader simulator, Contrast or
Color checker etc. They need a fast way of recognizing that and also that
they can browse or search if they didn't succeeded.

The problem:
All tools are listed in a huge list, in an alphabetical order (we should not
assume that our users know the name of their tool and go exactly to the
corresponding letter) . "Sort evaluations tools by:" doesn't work, it goes
to a 404! And the criteria of sorting is not relevant neither because
sorting by name and vendor implies knowing the name of the tool which most
If I would like to see if a tool is the right for me I need to read the
specifications below and most of them are useless except maybe the

The solution:
I would not remove the details of each tool, would just make use of the
Progressive Disclosure technique and show my users only what they need to
know first and if they need more they can choose to do so.
A user research is needed to establish criteria and patterns on what are
they looking for, why  and how are they going to use the information on your
site. This way a better solution for search/browse can be implemented and
actually the entire Information Architecture would gain from this.

I can go on, with the critique and soltions too, but it's probably better
just to make a suggestion first to align the website to the new W3C template
and give a little more thought to it in order to help the community and make
them aware that there's a real organization behind this.

Let me know, I'm here to help.
All the best,

Sorin Stefan
UX designer

Received on Tuesday, 14 September 2010 17:41:35 UTC