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  • 1. AOL INTERACTIVE DESIGNWeb Site Review Scorecard A negative score for any of the 40 questions Total score: 22 indicates a likely problem that should be Range: -80 to +80 addressed, regardless of the overall total. Product: AOL Black Voices URL: http://www.blackvoices.com/Evaluation by: Mrinal Sharma Date: October 20, 2008 Browsers: Mozilla Firefox v3.0.3Evaluated user goals1. Ability to quickly scan through various black community aspects showcasing various content modules.2. Engagement with blog stories from users and community-related features such as polls.3. Ability to easily find and navigate articles.Each review question is scored on a scale of -2 to +2: 2 Strong pass Best practice 1 Pass No problems found -1 Fail One major problem or several minor problems -2 Strong fail Two or more major problems, or one major problem and several minor problems OUR GUIDING PRNCIPLES • We never assume that our users know what we know • We guarantee our users know where they are at all times and they know what to do next • We create visual Design that is clean, simple, aids understanding and reflects our brand promise • Our systems provide friendly, jargon-free feedback to the user, especially when the system is "busy" or "thinking." SCORING1. Does the landing page(s) provide evidence that user goals can be completed? 2 -2 The landing page(s) does not provide evidence that users can complete several key portions of their goals. -1 The landing page(s) does not provide evidence that users can complete a key portion of their goals. 1 The landing page(s) provides evidence that users can likely complete their goals. 2 The landing page(s) provides evidence that users can definitely complete their goals.The homepage provides all the important information upfront such as Features, MessageBoards, Black Voices Blogs, Popular Profiles, etc. Also provides user engagement by Polls and This checklist was created using best practices from Forrester and AOL Interactive Design. Page 1 of 14
  • 2. Voting. The Top items section provides a good summary of the popular site sections.Reference: - Forrester report, Expose Value On The Home Page, August 30, 2005. (Note: Forrester reports can be found on the AOL Design Guide. Please visit: http://designguide.office.aol.com/BestPractices/UserInterface http://designguide.office.aol.com/BestPractices/WhatMakesAGreatWebSite)2. Is essential content available where needed? 2 -2 There are several instances (or one major instance) where the content needed to complete user goals is not available where needed. -1 There is one instance where the content needed to complete user goals is not available where needed. 1 All of the content needed to complete user goals is available where needed. 2 As above, plus content exceed users’ minimum needs, delivering added value.High level groupings are effective in information seeking. The Top 3 middle column section onmost hub-pages delivers added value.3. Is essential function available where needed? 1 -2 There are several instances (or one major instance) where required functionality is not available where needed. -1 There is one instance where required functionality is not available where needed. 1 All of the required functionality is available where needed. 2 As above, plus function exceeds users’ minimum needs, delivering added value.All the important categories are provided upfront with a consistent number of article links displayed ineach category. Also, grouping of top articles provide good overview of other sub-channels too, e.g. “TopElection Discussions”, “Top Threads” etc. Related articles and syndication options are available upfrontas well.4. Are essential content and function given priority in the display? 1 -2 There are two major instances (or one major instance and several minor instances) where essential content or function is buried. -1 There is one major instance (or several minor instances) where essential content or function is buried. 1 Essential content and function have priority position in the display. 2 As above, plus essential content and function are visually prominent.Essential content and function have priority position in the display. Popular topics are wellhighlighted throughout the site.Reference: - Forrester report, Give Priority To Essential Content And Function, August 31, 2005. - This checklist was created using best practices from Forrester and AOL Interactive Design. Page 2 of 14
  • 3. 5. Can a user determine their location within site architecture through noticeable visual -1highlights? -2 There are two major instances (or one major instance and several minor instances) where user location is not highlighted in some way -1 There is one major instance (or several minor instances) where user location is not highlighted in some way 1 User location is highlighted in some way on 95% of pages 2 User location is highlighted in some way on 100% of pages.Navigating to ‘Black History 365’ sub-channel of Black Voices Life & Style, the user is taken tothe ‘Black History 365’ hub but the user location is not highlighted.6. Is global navigation present in the header and local navigation expanded to 2 levels to show 1breadth and depth of content? -2 There are two major instances (or one major instance and several minor instances) where navigation is not present or expanded -1 There is one major instance (or several minor instances) where navigation is not present or expanded 1 Navigation is present or expanded 2 Navigation is present AND expandedGlobal Navigation is present in the header and local navigation expanded to 1 level for all sub-channels.7. Are menu category and subcategory names clear and mutually exclusive? 1 -2 There are two major instances (or one major instance and several minor instances) where category names overlap or are ambiguous. -1 There is one major instance (or several minor instances) where category names overlap or are ambiguous. 1 Category names do not overlap and are unambiguous. 2 As above, plus names include specific trigger words related to the user goal.Category names do not overlap and are unambiguous.Reference: - Forrester report, Site Menus Should Be Clear, Not Cute, February 27, 2003.8. Do menu categories immediately expose or describe their subcategories? 2 -2 The landing page(s) does not display all top-level categories. -1 The landing page(s) does not immediately expose or describe subcategories. 1 The landing page(s) immediately exposes or describes subcategories. 2 As above, plus second-level pages immediately expose contextual subcategories.A common left navigation exposes all sub-categories for all sub-channels. Also, the left navigationexposes contextual sub-categories in second-level pages.Reference: - Forrester report, Expose Two Levels Of Menus On Home Pages, March 7, 2003. - Forrester report, Rollover Menus Can Work But Usually Don’t, January 21, 2004. This checklist was created using best practices from Forrester and AOL Interactive Design. Page 3 of 14
  • 4. 9. Are content and function classified logically? 2 -2 There are two major instances (or one major instance and several minor instances) where an item is not listed in a category where the user would look for it. -1 There is one major instance (or several minor instances) where an item is not listed in a category where the user would look for it. 1 All items are listed in the categories where the user would look for them. 2 As above, plus alternative categorization schemes deliver added value.Global and Local Navigation and module headers do a decent job of describing content type andfunctionality.Reference: - Forrester report, Sites Must Offer Multiple Paths To The Same Goal, March 28, 2003.10. Is the task flow efficient? 1 -2 There are two major instances (or one major instance and several minor instances) where there are unnecessary steps in the process. -1 There is one major instance (or several minor instances) where there are unnecessary steps in the process. 1 There are no unnecessary steps in the process. 2 As above, plus the user is able to control the order of the steps in the process.There are no unnecessary steps.11. Is the wording in hyperlinks and controls clear and informative? 1 -2 There are two major instances (or one major instance and several minor instances) where wording in hyperlinks or controls is confusing or vague. -1 There is one major instance (or several minor instances) where wording in a hyperlink or control is confusing or vague. 1 Wording in hyperlinks and controls is clear and informative. 2 As above, plus wording in hyperlinks and controls is highly descriptive and free of redundant words.Wording in hyperlinks and controls is clear and informative.Reference: - Forrester report, Make Hyperlinks Clear And Informative, January 3, 2006.12. Are keyword-based searches comprehensive and precise? 1 -2 The search engine fails to retrieve clearly worded results, or the site has no search engine but user goals require one. -1 The search engine does not put clearly worded results in order of relevance or does not display the user’s search term. 1 The search engine puts clearly worded results in order of relevance and displays the user’s search term. 2 As above, plus search compensates for common misspellings and accommodates synonyms, and the user can sort or narrow results by meaningful criteria.The search results are displayed with the search term. But they are not categorized into groups(in the left nav like in other channels). There is support for misspellings (searched ‘obamo’,‘mckain’). This checklist was created using best practices from Forrester and AOL Interactive Design. Page 4 of 14
  • 5. Reference: - Forrester report, Best Practices For Search: Query Input Design, December 18, 2003. - Forrester report, Best Practices For Search: Presenting The Results, December 19, 2003.13. Can a user determine where to go next? Is the experience threaded through pagination, a 1highlighted “next step,” related content links or other mechanisms? -2 There are two major instances (or one major instance and several minor instances) where the user’s next step is not immediately obvious -1 There is one major instance (or several minor instances) where the user’s next step is not immediately obvious 1 The user’s next step is immediately obvious 2 As above, plus the next step is visually highlighted and prominent.Next step is obvious in most of the cases. In some cases (Like Blogs) pagination exists at thepage level, as well as at the gallery level within the page.14. Does site content use language that’s easy to understand? 2 -2 There are two major instances (or one major instance and several minor instances) where language is difficult to understand. -1 There is one major instance (or several minor instances) where language is difficult to understand. 1 All language is easily understandable. 2 As above, plus short sentences and paragraphs aid comprehension.The language used on the site is highly comprehensible.Reference: - Forrester report, Write Content With Target Audiences In Mind, August 7, 2003.15. Do visual design elements create a clear visual hierarchy? (Elements such as size, boldface,color, shading, visual breathing room, grouping and typography build a structure of primary, 2secondary and tertiary navigational elements to draw users eyes through the content quickly) -2 There are two major instances (or one major instance and several minor instances) where visual hierarchy is not clear -1 There is one major instance (or several minor instances) where visual hierarchy is not clear 1 Visual hierarchy is clear. 2 As above, plus the visual design elements add value to the display.Visual hierarchy is clear. This checklist was created using best practices from Forrester and AOL Interactive Design. Page 5 of 14
  • 6. 16. Does the visual design reflect the brand attributes and audience demographics 2 -2 The visual design does not reflect the brand attributes and audience demographics -1 The visual design partially reflect the brand attributes and audience demographics 1 The visual design fully reflects the brand attributes and audience demographics 2 As above, plus the design loads within three seconds of the leading competitor.The visual design effectively reflects the brand and audience demographics. The Consistent andappropriate color scheme is a major contributor. The design loads in three seconds (Repeat viewTest) of the leading competitor.17. Is text legible and system text is set to Arial (12px for Body copy, 13px for Articles, 9px for 2captions) or Georgia (as an accent) with at least 60% contrast to the background. -2 There are several instances (or one major instance) where essential content is not easy to read and/ or is not set as specified. -1 There is one instance where essential content is not easy to read and/or is not set as specified. 1 All essential content is easy to read and/or is not set as specified. 2 As above, plus the site allows users to change the text size and text is specified in ems.The text is legible and supports system requirements. The site allows users to resize the text.Reference: - Forrester report, Design Legible Sites, September 22, 2003.18. Does text formatting and layout support easy scanning? 2 -2 There are two major instances (or one major instance and several minor instances) where text formatting or layout does not support easy scanning. -1 There is one major instance (or several minor instances) where text formatting or layout does not support easy scanning. 1 Text formatting and layout support easy scanning. 2 As above, plus text formatting or layout focuses the user’s attention on the most relevant content.Scanning through section headings and highlighted sections is well supported.Reference: - Forrester brief, Format Text To Support Easy Scanning, January 3, 200619. Do layouts use space effectively via the standard grid? 2 -2 There are two major instances (or one major instance and several minor instances) where wasted space displaces essential content, function, or navigation. -1 There is one major instance (or several minor instances) where wasted space displaces essential content, function, or navigation. 1 There is no instance where wasted space displaces essential content, function, or navigation. 2 There is no instance of wasted space.The site utilizes the screen space well and there are no instances of wasted space.Reference: - Please visit http://designguide.office.aol.com/TheStandards/Grids - Forrester report, Page Layouts: Utility Beats Eye Candy, January 30, 2003. This checklist was created using best practices from Forrester and AOL Interactive Design. Page 6 of 14
  • 7. 20. Are the Top 10 standard global experiences leveraged throughout the site? -1 -2 There are two major instances (or one major instance and several minor instances) where standard modules/experiences are not used. -1 There is one major instance (or several minor instances) where standard modules/experiences are not used. 1 Standard modules/experiences are used. 2 As above, plus the modules/experiences have been optimized for proper tracking and credit.All pages need to be updated with the new standard footer.Reference: - Please visit http://designguide.office.aol.com/TheStandards/TheStandards21. Have the placements of advertisements (banners or links) been placed in a recommended 2location to increase revenue opportunities while not infringing upon user experience? -2 There are two major instances (or one major instance and several minor instances) where advertisements have not been placed in a recommended location to increase revenue opportunities while not infringing upon user experience. -1 There is one major instance (or several minor instances) where advertisements have not been placed in a recommended location to increase revenue opportunities while not infringing upon user experience. 1 Advertisements have been placed in a recommended location to increase revenue opportunities while not infringing upon user experience. 2 As above, plus Quigo Sponsored links are place in a prominent position on the page, optimizing potential for revenue.Top Banner Ads, Right-column Advertisements and Sponsored Links have been placedappropriately not infringing upon the user experience.22. Does brand attribution follow the guidelines for proper comScore credit? -2 -2 There are two major instances (or one major instance and several minor instances) where brand attribution does not follow the guidelines for proper comScore credit. -1 There is one major instance (or several minor instances) where brand attribution does not follow the guidelines for proper comScore credit. 1 Brand attribution follows the guidelines for proper comScore credit. 2 As above, plus most current elements are used in all cases.All pages need to be updated with the new footer. This issue should be a priority in any future re-designs.Reference: - Please visit http://designguide.office.aol.com/TheStandards/BrandingRequirements This checklist was created using best practices from Forrester and AOL Interactive Design. Page 7 of 14
  • 8. 23. Are form fields and interactive elements placed logically in the display? 2 -2 There are two major instances (or one major instance and several minor instances) where related interactive elements or form fields are not grouped together or do not flow logically. -1 There is one major instance (or several minor instances) where related interactive elements or form fields are not grouped together or do not flow logically. 1 Related interactive elements and form fields are grouped together and flow logically. 2 As above, plus the display layout is free of unnecessary controls and graphics.Appropriate graphics have been used and the controls flow logically.24. Are interactive elements easily recognizable with clear and strong affordances? -2 -2 There are two major instances (or one major instance and several minor instances) where it’s not clear which elements are interactive. -1 There is one major instance (or several minor instances) where it’s not clear which elements are interactive. 1 All interactive elements are easily recognizable. 2 As above, plus the placement and design of interactive elements is consistent. • There is no color differentiation for visited links. • Absence of mouse-over underlining of links:  Main > Today’s Member Poll > Link: “the sexiest woman alive?”  Main > Today’s Member Poll > Link: “Note on Poll Results”  Blogs > links within blog posts • Absence of mouse-over state change/highlight inside the following sub-hubs:  News > Today’s News Poll > Button: “Vote”  Obama Watch ’08 > AOL Hot Seats > Button: “Show State Results”  Work & Money > Quiz: US Financial Crises > Button: “Submit”  Videos > Buttons: “Search”, “Grid” & “List” • Work & Money > Button: “More Work & Money Coverage” is not recognizable. • Incorrect mouse-over visual highlight (text color change from white to blue) Sports > Latest NFL Photos > Button: “More NFL Pictures”25. Do interactive elements behave as expected? -2 -2 There are two major instances (or one major instance and several minor instances) where interactive elements do not behave as expected. -1 There is one major instance (or several minor instances) where interactive elements do not behave as expected. 1 All interactive elements behave as expected. 2 As above, plus the behavior of interactive elements exceeds user expectations by saving time or otherwise adding value.  In Black Voices Videos, clicking the “Add (+)” control has no response. The mouse-over cursor and pop-up description “Add Videos” indicates it to function as a button. The problem persists in both IE and Firefox browsers.  Obama Watch ’08 > 2008 Elections: The heading is a link which opens a pop-up image gallery.  Clicking the pagination controls leads to a pop-up image gallery window. Although this is as per KE standards. This checklist was created using best practices from Forrester and AOL Interactive Design. Page 8 of 14
  • 9. 26. Are hyperlinks formatted correctly with underlines appearing on rollover, correct color andvisited states? (Blues, such as hex 2864B4 for light backgrounds, 96DCFA for dark backgrounds -2and D2B4DC for visited links works well on 90% of our sites.) -2 There are two major instances (or one major instance and several minor instances) where hyperlinks are formatted incorrectly. -1 There is one major instance (or several minor instances) where hyperlinks are formatted incorrectly. 1 All hyperlinks are formatted correctly. 2 As above, and all linked text is easy to understand. As noted in Point 24, • Absence of mouse-over underlining of links:  Main > Today’s Member Poll > Link: “the sexiest woman alive?”  Main > Today’s Member Poll > Link: “Note on Poll Results”  Blogs > links within blog posts • Obama Watch ’08 > 2008 Elections: The heading (in black) is a link which opens a pop-up image gallery. • No visited states exist for hyperlinks.Reference: - Please visit http://designguide.office.aol.com/TheStandards/Hyperlinks27. Does the site accommodate the user’s range of hand-eye coordination? 1 -2 Interactive elements are small and tightly spaced, and require complicated mouse movements. -1 Interactive elements are small and tightly spaced, or require complicated mouse movements. 1 Interactive elements are large or well-spaced and do not require complicated mouse movements. 2 Interactive elements are large, well-spaced, and provide a visual cue when rolled over.The Interactive elements are well defined and placed. But few buttons like “Vote”, Search, Gridand List do not provide a visual cue when rolled over.Reference: - Forrester report, Rollover Menus Can Work but Usually don’t, January 21, 2004.28. Do selected colors correspond to common expectations about color codes? For example,gray feels inactive, red feels like an error, blue feels like a hyperlink (if its not clickable, its not -1blue). Additionally, on financial sites, red indicates market down turn while green is up. -2 There are two major instances (or one major instance and several minor instances) where color meaning is not clear and in conflict with common expectations. -1 There is one major instance (or several minor instances) where color meaning is not clear and in conflict with common expectations. 1 Color meaning is clear and in line with common expectations. 2 As above, and international color codes have been evaluated.  Obama Watch ’08 > “Your Vote Counts: Its Not Too Late”: Countdown Timer is in blue, e.g. 14 Days, 08 Hours, 50 Minutes, 23 Seconds and creates an illusion of being a link (If it’s not clickable, it’s not blue).  No color differentiation for visited links exists.  Blog posts headings (links) are in dark grey and do not have a mouse-over color (or style) highlight. This checklist was created using best practices from Forrester and AOL Interactive Design. Page 9 of 14
  • 10. 29. Are icons used sparingly and only to communicate the most critical functions or asset type 2without interfering with scanability of a page? -2 There are two major instances (or one major instance and several minor instances) where graphics, icons, or symbols are difficult to understand. -1 There is one major instance (or several minor instances) where graphics, icons, or symbols are difficult to understand. 1 All graphics, icons, or symbols are easily understandable. 2 As above, plus the appearance of graphics, icons, and symbols saves space, time, or otherwise adds value to the display.Icons and symbols have been used effectively.Reference: - Please visit http://designguide.office.aol.com/TheStandards/Iconography30. Are photo standards followed, including standard sizes and caption placement? -1 -2 Photo sizes are not standard and captions are not placed correctly -1 Photo sizes are not standard or captions are not placed correctly 1 Photo sizes are standard and captions are placed correctly 2 As above and the number of photos on each page is appropriate for fast page loading.Few images are not in the new standard image sizes. For example, the image for The GroupAccused of Voter Fraud is not in lines of new standard sizes.Reference: - Please visit http://designguide.office.aol.com/TheStandards/PhotoSizes31. Does the site present privacy and security policies in context? -1 -2 Links to clear privacy and security policies are not presented anywhere in the display when a user is asked for personal data. -1 Links to clear privacy and security policies are not presented in context when a user is asked for personal data. 1 Links to clear privacy and security policies are presented in context anywhere that a user is asked for personal data. 2 As above, plus a short summary of each policy is presented with the link.In AOL (Election) HotSeat and in various polls across AOL Black Voices, there is no linkregarding privacy policies. Contextual Privacy Policy links exist inline without any shortsummary. User must click link to view Privacy Policy.Reference: - Forrester report, Web Users Want Privacy And Security Policies, December 21, 2005. - Forrester report, Make Security Policies Clear And Easy To Find, September 17, 2003. - Forrester report, Privacy Policies: Make Them Available and Useful, September 17, 2003.This checklist was created using best practices from Forrester and AOL Interactive Design. Page 10 of 14
  • 11. 32. Do location cues orient the user? -1 -2 There are two major instances (or one major instance and several minor instances) where page titles or visual changes to navigation elements do not confirm that the page loaded was the page the user clicked on. -1 There is one major instance (or several minor instances) where a page title or a visual change to navigation elements does not confirm that the page loaded was the page the user clicked on. 1 Page titles or visual changes to navigation elements clearly and consistently confirm that the page loaded was the page the user clicked on. 2 As above, plus pages consistently show their location relative to the entire site.Page titles or visual changes to navigation elements clearly and consistently confirm that thepage loaded was the page the user clicked on also reflecting the location relative to the site. Oneminor instance of breaking this pattern is Black History 365 sub-channel where the locationrelative to the Black Voices site in the navigational panel is not highlighted.33. Does site functionality provide clear feedback in response to user actions? -1 -2 There are two major instances (or one major instance and several minor instances) where the site functionality does not clearly indicate the results of user actions. -1 There is one major instance (or several minor instances) where the site functionality does not clearly indicate the results of user actions. 1 The site functionality clearly indicates the results of user actions. 2 As above, plus the site functionality sets expectations about what’s needed to complete a process.Clicking the pagination control and permalink leads to unclear results.34. Does the system inform the user when the user has to wait? 2 -2 There are two major instances (or one major instance and several minor instances) where there is no messaging to the user when the system is busy. -1 There is one major instance (or several minor instances) where there is no messaging to the user when the system is busy. 1 There is messaging to the user when the system is busy 2 As above, plus pre-loader indicates status (% complete) or a visual representation (bar) of progress in the wait; wait time/percentage indicated is accurate.Pre-loader indicators, progress indicators (bars, counters and other info-graphics) are present.35. Is contextual help available at key points? 1 -2 There are two major instances (or one major instance and several minor instances) where contextual, task-related help is not available. -1 There is one major instance (or several minor instances) where contextual, task-related help is not available. 1 Contextual, task-related help is available where needed. 2 As above, plus contact information for other channels like email, chat, or phone is available in context.Help links, roll-over descriptions and prompt notifications are accordingly presented wherevernecessary.Reference: - Forrester report, Best Practices For Contextual Help Windows, September 14, 2005. - Forrester report, Poor Contextual Help Erodes Shoppers’ Trust, March 11, 2005.This checklist was created using best practices from Forrester and AOL Interactive Design. Page 11 of 14
  • 12. 36. Does the site help users avoid and recover from errors? 1 -2 There are several instances (or one major instance) where required fields are not clearly indicated or an error message is not integrated into the display, does not describe what happened and why, or does not suggest how to fix the problem. -1 There is one instance where required fields are not clearly indicated or an error message is not integrated into the display, does not describe what happened and why, or does not suggest how to fix the problem. 1 Required fields are clearly indicated, and error messages are integrated into the display, describe what happened and why, and suggest how to fix the problem. 2 As above, plus error prevention techniques (such as input masks and data validation) help avoid common mistakes.The user is prompted to avoid errors. If the user provides any blank comment field the systemprompts for text data for the review.Reference: - Forrester report, Better Error Handling Boosts Site Effectiveness, June 27, 2003. - Forrester report, Examine Error Messages By Breaking Your Site, March 4, 2004.37. Are error messages written in a friendly, non-threatening way with no technical jargon and no 1implication that the user has caused the problem? -2 There are two major instances (or one major instance and several minor instances) where error messages are confusing or accusatory -1 There is one major instance (or several minor instances) where error messages are confusing or accusatory 1 Error messages are easy to understand and do not place blame on the user. 2 As above, plus the error messages suggest how to fix the problem.The error message when commenting on blog entries does not highlight the source of error.38. Do all pages load quickly? -2 -2 There are two or more pages that do not load quickly. -1 There is one page that does not load quickly. 1 All pages load quickly. 2 As above, plus all items below the fold load last or not until a user scrolls to see them.All pages don’t load quickly. According to the Web page Load Times Test conducted 5 times, thefollowing two pages load very slowly:  Black Voices News: above 4 secs  Black Voices Blogs: above 4.5 secsReference: - Please visit www.optimization.aol.comThis checklist was created using best practices from Forrester and AOL Interactive Design. Page 12 of 14
  • 13. 39. Does the site perform without errors? 1 -2 There are two major system errors (or one major system error and several minor system errors) while completing the goals. -1 There is one major system error (or several minor system errors) while completing the goals. 1 There are no major system errors while completing the goals. 2 As above, plus all screens load in fewer than 3 seconds.No major system errors noticed. The Web Page Speed Report from Webometer confirms thedownload times of all above 3 seconds.Reference: - Forrester report, Site Speed: Misunderstood but Important, October 28, 2004.40. Has the site been evaluated for internationalization and does not break when translated into -2foreign languages as appropriate? -2 The site has not been evaluated for internationalization and breaks when translated into foreign languages -1 The site has not been evaluated for internationalization or breaks when translated into foreign languages 1 The site has been evaluated for internationalization and does not break when translated into foreign languages 2 As above, plus the experience can easily be tailored to appeal (visually and/or editorially) to other cultures.The site is not internationalized. Complete and accurate translation to French, German and Hindifailed when AOL Black Voices was translated through Google Translate service. Few headingsare images (in English Language) and thus completely fail to translate. SUMMARYValue1. Does the landing page(s) provide evidence that user goals can be completed? 22. Is essential content available where needed? 23. Is essential function available where needed? 14. Are essential content and function given priority in the display? 1 Subtotal 6Navigation5. Can a user determine their location within the site architecture through noticeable visual highlights? -16. Is global navigation present in the header and local navigation expanded to 2 levels to show 1breadth and depth of content?7. Are menu category and subcategory names clear and mutually exclusive? 18. Do menu categories immediately expose or describe their subcategories? 29. Are content and function classified logically? 210. Is the task flow efficient? 111. Is the wording in hyperlinks and controls clear and informative? 112. Are keyword-based searches comprehensive and precise? 113. Can a user determine where to go next? Is the experience threaded through pagination, a 1highlighted “next step,” related content links or other mechanisms? Subtotal 9This checklist was created using best practices from Forrester and AOL Interactive Design. Page 13 of 14
  • 14. Presentation14. Does site content use language that’s easy to understand? 215. Do visual design elements such as size, boldface, color, shading, visual breathing room, groupingand typography build a structure of primary, secondary and tertiary navigational elements to draw 2users eyes through the content quickly?16. Does the visual design reflect the brand attributes and audience demographics 217. Is text legible and system text is set to Arial (12px for Body copy, 13px for Articles, 9px for 2captions) or Georgia (as an accent) with at least 60% contrast to the background.18. Does text formatting and layout support easy scanning? 219. Do layouts use space effectively via the standard grid? 220. Are standard global modules used for headers, footers and experiences such as Photo Galleries -1and Video?21. Have the placements of advertisements (banners or links) been placed in a recommended location 2to increase revenue opportunities while not infringing upon user experience?22. Does brand attribution follow the guidelines for proper comSCore credit? -223. Are form fields and interactive elements placed logically in the display? 224. Are interactive elements easily recognizable? -225. Do interactive elements behave as expected? -226. Are hyperlinks formatted correctly with underlines appearing on rollover, correct color and visitedstates? (Blues, such as hex 2864B4 for light backgrounds, 96DCFA for dark backgrounds and -2D2B4DC for visited links works well on 90% of our sites.)27. Does the site accommodate the user’s range of hand-eye coordination? 128. Do selected colors correspond to common expectations about color codes? For example, grayfeels inactive, red feels like an error, blue feels like a hyperlink (if its not clickable, its not blue). -1Additionally, on financial sites, red indicates market down turn while green is up.29. Are icons used sparingly and only to communicate the most critical functions or asset type without 2interfering with scanability of a page?30. Are photo standards followed, including standard sizes and caption placement? -1 Subtotal 8Trust31. Does the site present privacy and security policies in context? -132. Do location cues orient the user? -133. Does site functionality provide clear feedback in response to user actions? -134. Does the system inform the user when the user has to wait? 235. Is contextual help available at key points? 136. Does the site help users avoid and recover from errors? 137. Are error messages written in a friendly, non-threatening way with no technical jargon and no 1implication that the user has caused the problem?38. Do all pages load quickly? -239. Does the site perform without errors? 140. Has the site been evaluated for internationalization and does not break when translated into -2foreign languages as appropriate? Subtotal -1 Total score 22 range: -80 to +80A Passing Score is 40. However, a negative score for any of the 40 questions indicates a likely problem thatshould be addressed, regardless of the overall total.This checklist was created using best practices from Forrester and AOL Interactive Design. Page 14 of 14

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