Quality of site content
The objectives of this phase concern the quality of the content of the site.
The QA activities in this phase are concerned with content definition, presentation and structure, including the architecture of your information (and its retrieval) for your audience; this includes the site’s overall structure, navigation mans, search functions, site index, table of contents, URL’s, etc.)
A formal definition of the requirements for and specifications of the content should be produced.
Writing for the web is different from writing for printed publications. Make sure the site content complies with the Writing for the web guidelines, especially:
- a specific audience has been defined and the content written in an appropriate style
- relevant key messages have been identified and prominently placed on each page
- text has been presented in a way that will aid on screen reading (scanning etc.)
- steps have been taken to ensure a regular readership
- content is properly structured (page length, information hierarchies, consistency)
- both individual pages and the whole site can be easily navigated (headings, grouping, hierarchies)
- the volume of text has been kept as short as possible on every page (and overall)
- pages contain only language of the highest standard and appropriate style
- attention has been paid to links (style, length, format)
- the right keywords are used in the right places
The editing quality of a site is not confined to its original language. It is important to check the quality in other language versions, in particular to verify that the integrity of texts received has not been altered in the course of HTML formatting etc.
Description of QA Activities
The Quality assurance activities in this phase are focused on:
- Ensuring the accuracy of the textual elements
- Proofreading the content
- Reviewing the presentation aspects
- Validating and approving the content, and forwarding for translation
- Comparing translations with the original text
- Verification of copyright issues (copyright clearance)
Evaluating web content (checklist)
Look for the following things:
- A statement of the site’s aims and purpose
- Author and publisher details and an email contact address (on EUROPA, preferably a unit mailbox) to back up authenticity and offer further information
- Details on the origin and validity of all information
- Details of any quality checks or referencing of the information
- Creation and modification dates
- Clearly marked archiving information
- Good design and awareness of readability – whatever its interest, poorly presented content stands less chance of being read
- A sense of where you are on the site - not necessarily a site map, but some clear navigational hooks
- A good site search function - vital for an information-rich and complex site
In judging the content ask yourself:
- does the resource appear to be honest and genuine?
- is the resource available in other formats (e.g. book, leaflet or CD-ROM)?
- do any of the materials infringe copyright laws?
- is the information well researched and documented?
- is there any clear bias and, if so, is it acceptable?
- is it the result of a personal hobbyhorse?
- is the information durable in nature?
- will the content be adequately maintained?