Usability

Navigation

I have tried to make my project as usable as possible by sticking to the conventional standards of website navigation. The main tool in achieving this is the ever-present navigation bar on the right of the page. Users do not have to scroll around too much to find the navigation buttons which makes the process much quicker. I have also kept my levels to a minimum. The users never find themselves in a deep structure having to go up several levels before they find another area of the site. The deepest they go is in the portfolio section where they are just two levels in (portfolio > collection).

 

index page

index page

 

 

Buttons in the portfolio galleries are very intuitive, displayed merely as forward and backwards arrows which flick between images – a common navigational signifier which I think users are familiar with.

Functions

The blog features some familiar controls also with edit and destroy options at the foot of every post. This only appears when the user is logged-in of course. The login function is hidden from plain sight and accessed by appending the URL with ‘/login’. As there will only ever be a maximum of two different people logging into the site: myself and the client, there is no need for there to be a ‘login’ button on the blog. This would only confuse users into thinking they are able to register for user accounts, which at the moment, they are not.

Forms within the blog are again very standard in format. To go to the ‘new post’ form, the user merely has to find the appropriate link at the very bottom of the page. When creating a new blog post, the user is confronted with only two text fields: ‘Subject’ and ‘Body’. Below this is a ‘Submit’ button. Again, because there will only be two users of this blog, the controls do not have to be terribly obvious as long as they are positioned in a sensible and consistent manner for quick recognition and use.

 

New Post

New Post

 

 

Accessibility

I designed my site with a view to simplicity and functionality, and with this comes accessibility. The fact I have used high contrast colouring (black on white) throughout the site means the text is highly readable. I have successfully tested the site using larger font-sizes by adjusting the browser settings and all appears perfectly readable. All of my images include alt tags which means screen readers are able to pick-up the content of the images and navigation links and relay it to disabled users. I have also used appropriate header and paragraph tags to ensure that the textual content conforms to the correct hierarchy. I have seen sites that offer reversed-contrast view which makes the background black and the text yellow to cater for certain types of visual impairment; however there are limits to how far one should go given the purpose of the project.

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1 Comment »

  1. slger Said:

    Using a screen reader, I had trouble following your heading structure. There is H1 blog with H2 postings in wordpress conventions. Below that are subheadings H3, H4, … in standard writing practice. I often use H1 to reach the supposedly unique blog title but find usability and accessibility also at H1 level.

    You can perform these tst yourself with the NVDA free screen reader.


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