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Category Archives: Web Site Accessibility and Usability

2017 US Government Website Clarity Index

“VisibleThread’s Web Clarity Index is a methodology for measuring the clarity of web content. In 2016, Visible Thread published an Index as a follow-up comparison to a 2011 review of 29 federal agency websites based on clarity of written content. We measured up to 100 pages on each website, across these four dimensions:

  • Readability – How readable is the content?
  • Passive Language – Active Language communicates clearly. What proportion of sentences is passive?
  • Long Sentences – What proportion of all sentences are too long?
  • Word Complexity Density – Complex words make web pages hard to understand.

The 2017 analysis is a follow-up and comparison of federal agency websites that were indexed in 2016. Changes in the White House administration, particularly between political parties, frequently bring change to agencies. As policy changes, content must reflect new priorities and changes to programs and the law. VisibleThread was interested if these changes would impact website clarity…”

New design and features for loc.gov

(The following is a post by Gayle Osterberg, director of communications for the Library of Congress) “The Library of Congress launched its first website in 1994. Since that time we have digitized and made available millions of items from our collections and added new features to help you take advantage of all that the Library… Continue Reading

Report – The Distribution of Users’ Computer Skills: Worse Than You Think

Jakob Nielsen on November 13, 2016. “Summary: Across 33 rich countries, only 5% of the population has high computer-related abilities, and only a third of people can complete medium-complexity tasks. One of usability’s most hard-earned lessons is that you are not the user. This is why it’s a disaster to guess at the users’ needs.… Continue Reading

OMB Issues Policies for Federal Agency Public Websites and Digital Services

November 8, 2016 memorandum – OMB – “Federal Agency public websites and digital services are the primary means by which the public receives information from and interacts with the Federal Government. These websites and services help the public apply for benefits, search for jobs, comply with Federal rules, obtain authoritative information, and much more. Federal websites and digital… Continue Reading

Performance.gov: Long-Term Strategy Needed to Improve Website Usability

Performance.gov: Long-Term Strategy Needed to Improve Website Usability, GAO-16-693: Published: Aug 30, 2016. Publicly Released: Aug 30, 2016:  “The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), General Services Administration (GSA), and the Performance Improvement Council (PIC) took several steps to improve the usefulness of Performance.gov, a website intended to serve as the public window to the… Continue Reading

Wireless Substitution: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, July–December 2015

Wireless Substitution: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, July–December 2015. Stephen J. Blumberg, Ph.D., and Julian V. Luke, Division of Health Interview Statistics, National Center for Health Statistics. Released May 2016. “Preliminary results from the July–December 2015 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) indicate that the number of American homes with only… Continue Reading

New on LLRX – Fight for Kindle all-text bold option: Why you STILL need to write Amazon – and the media

Via LLRX.com – Fight for Kindle all-text bold option: Why you STILL need to write Amazon – and the media – David Rothman has been proactively and consistently engaged in an effort to increase visual usability of the Kindle for K-12 kids, the elderly and others with contrast-sensitivity problems. He has requested the company implement… Continue Reading

NLM Releases New Health Literacy Tool Shed Website

“The U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), in collaboration with Boston University School of Medicine is pleased to announce the launch of the Health Literacy Tool Shed: http://healthliteracy.bu.edu/. The Health Literacy Tool Shed is a free, user-friendly, unique, curated online database of more than 100 empirically validated health literacy instruments. The Tool Shed serves as… Continue Reading

webAIM – Web Accessibility In Mind

“WebAIM (Web Accessibility In Mind) has provided comprehensive web accessibility solutions since 1999. These years of experience have made WebAIM one of the leading providers of web accessibility expertise internationally. WebAIM is a non-profit organization based at the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University.” Continue Reading

Forum Guide to Ensuring Equal Access to Education Websites— Introduction to Electronic Information Accessibility Standards

Forum Guide to Ensuring Equal Access to Education Websites – Introduction to Electronic Information Accessibility Standards, July 2011 “This guide is designed for use by information technology administrators, data specialists, and program staff responsible for the “content” in data reports, as well as education leaders (e.g., administrators who prioritize tasks for technical and data staff),… Continue Reading

Google Apps Accessibility Evaluation Project

“In the summer of 2010, Peter Mosinskis from California State University Channel Islands assembled a team of approximately fifteen volunteers from seven different CSU campuses and one from the UC system to evaluate the accessibility of Google Apps. The team also recruited student volunteers and screen reader users to assist with the testing. Automated, manual,… Continue Reading

Children's Websites: Usability Issues in Designing for Kids

Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox, September 13, 2010, Children’s Websites: Usability Issues in Designing for Kids: “New research with users aged 3–12 shows that older kids have gained substantial Web proficiency since our last studies, while younger kids still face many problems. Designing for children requires distinct usability approaches, including targeting content narrowly for different ages of… Continue Reading