The Audits undertaken within this exercise for The Iveagh Trust are extremely enlightening and certainly highlight valid website concerns. However, there is no substitute for asking the users directly what they would like from their community website.
The technical issues identified in the audits such as HTML, Header, Alt tags, Page Titles, etc. are factual and are relatively easy to address. However, UD and Accessibility issues raised in the audit require definitive input from the actual users, residents of The Iveagh Trust.
The design and accessibility suggestions ideally would require validation from users, be that testing on a Prototype, interviews and questionnaire. Before any changes are applied and time spend on coding.
Prior to the website being designed and fleshed out, the primary users of the website ideally should have been surveyed. A simple questionnaire to the residents would have helped identify what is the users exact need for the website. This questionnaire might have identified Latest News as the number one priority and thus delivered not only good UD but also Accessibility for all user types.
Were the tenants asked in advance what they would like on their housing association website? The suggestions within this report also neglect to interview any key stakeholders, which is clearly a flaw.
Using analytics tools such as Google Analytics will quickly establish user behaviour, bounce rates, drop off levels, engagement pages, and so on. This factual data will inform any future redesign.
The purpose of the website is non-commercial and socially focused and thus users must be heavily involved in the website design, they are stakeholders.
A demographic breakdown of The Iveagh Trust’s tenants would need to be undertaken and a variety of user should be surveyed based on the demographic breakdown. General users and users who may have accessibility concerns.
It appears the current website is focused on The Iveagh Trust, it’s history, achievements and so on as opposed to what the user might need and enjoy. But who knows? This information gap needs to be closed off and the exact needs of the website users discovered.
The current wireframe and prototype developed within this project should be used to survey and garner valuable information from tenants. Coupled with the statistical data from Google Analytics on the live website and surveying tenants on the live site. These three exercises will truly and accurately allow the web designer to develop a website which is Universally Designed.