Web Site - Bryan Mawr College

Usability

 

Knowledge

Tasks

Clarity

Elegance

  •  Not predictable, users have a hard time finding what is next.

  • Hard to find subjects through search

  • Too much information, overloaded

  • Uses some "techo-jargon"

 

Readability

 

Content

Organization & Layout

Utilization of type

 

Readability Overview:

  •  This is a professional designed education institution web site.

  • It is designed to attract and serve college and graduate students.

  •  The site attempts to have an appealing and intelligent look, while still being utilitarian.

  • This has the effect of compromising its overall readability, requiring the reader, in some situations, to have to read through passages of text in order to obtain facts.

  •  It is a good looking site but does not comply with many of the rules of good readability.

Content

  • The site presents a friendly and somewhat narrative approach to offering its information. 

  •  It tries to, but is not always successful in presenting the reader with its most important facts in a summary form.

  •  It does not restrict the number of ideas it presents on each page, which is a negative factor towards readability.

  •  Its mix of graphics, colors and text is very appealing.

  • However, the text while well written is wordy.

Organization & Layout

  • The layout is consistent from one page to the next.

  •  A basic three-column grid is utilized to present data: on column for text, the other two for limited graphics or a navigation bar.

  •  The page has ample blank space on it, intermingled with beautiful complimentary background colors.

  • The information appears to be logically laid out but at a close look, some pages have a great deal of information on them and are hard to take in without studying them.

  •  Subheadings, bolded and different colored text are use to define the divisions of information on each page. However, there appears to be almost an overuse of colors and levels of heading making the pages appear difficult to scan for information.

  •  Unfortunately there is no use of bulleted lists to present information clearly. This is reflects poorly on the site’s readability, requiring time consuming reading through passages of text to obtain important facts, rather than just having the facts listed.

  • Many of the web pages extend beyond two to three windows, requiring substantial scrolling. 

Utilization of type

  • The type on the site looks beautiful but unfortunately there are too many variations of styles, font and colors, causing its readability to be reduced. I have counted as many as eleven variations of type on one page. This may look good but detracts from readability.

  • The width of text flowing across screen is controlled.

  •  Paragraphs are kept short with adequate space between them.

  • The text shows up clearly against the white and various colored backgrounds on the pages.

  • The site consistently utilizes a san serif type face, with minimum use of a serif face.

Accessibility

 

Violations

  1. The first violation is deals with configuration.  The websites uses different instances of tables.  Instead of tables the website can use style sheets.  A style sheet is more flexible and can be disconnected, while tables do not offer that option.

  2. The second violation also deals with the configuration standard.  The quotes used on the website need to be more than ten words long.  While the average user enjoys a quick bit of information, disabled learners have a difficult time gaining orientation and meaning through short quotes.

  3. The final violation has to do with navigation.  Again this website has been designed for use with a mouse.  Users that do not use a mouse will have to tab through every button.  There needs to be shortcuts that enable the user to navigate through the site more rapidly.