December 13, 2002

Usability Net from the EU - Updated

UsabilityNet is a solid resource put out by the EU. There are many great resources, like the methods table, but there were also many visual presentation and structural problems that kept me from getting the most out of the site. On the top page there presentation is very cluttered and the image buttons are not easy to scan, or for that matter read (here a text links with CSS would offer much better readability and would easily be resizable for those with visual difficulties). The inside pages often have two layers of navigation, but use a visual presentation that not only had me slightly baffled, but other Web development and design professionals too. Not only are there two layers of hierarchial navigation layers on the top, but there are sometimes left navigation provided. I really was not sure what the differences were between the second tier top nav and the left nav as they were similar.

I completely agree with Beth that the Usability for Managers section offers great resources. This page gives solid reasoning behind the benefits of using usability testing and development.

The area where this site could use the most improvement is the accessibility of some of the informaiton. The methods table is a great idea with a solid presentation, but it is not accessible in the slightest for folks with disabilities or those using mobile devices. The largest disappointment is the page is not printable.

In all this will be a great site if they can get through some of the structure and presentation issues. It seems ironic that the site has usability problems, but it is a young site with a great future and I have no doubt they will get there.

[hat tip Beth]

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