Scsi's WebKISS™ Guide #4: What could Management learn by exercising Scsi's Test Criteria Evaluation Worksheet (STCEW) Tool on their Web Site's Pages? | Call (859) 261-5908 for assistance.

Skip to MAIN HEADING of this page, request immediate assistance, jump to this page's Major Navigation Hyperlinks section or to the BOTTOM of this page, or view or download a PDF version of this Web page's contents (including associated hyperlinks): Download now button.

Scsii's logo and navigation button.

 

 

PRIMARY NAVIGATION BUTTONS

Main Headings of Scsi's WebKISS™ Guide #4: What could Management learn by exercising Scsi's Test Criteria Evaluation Worksheet (STCEW) Tool on their Web Site's Pages?

 

NOTE: Relevant hyperlinks are included within the associated paragraphs to make your browsing session productive and all the more enjoyable.

*** Return to TOP of this page. ***

Is your company's Web site deserving of being classified as World Class Level?

This "Web-based Keep-It-Simple, Sonoff" document -- WebKISS™ Guide #4 -- focuses on highlighting some specific reasons why Management should make use of Scsi's Test Criteria Evaluation Worksheet (STCEW) Tool -- a quick checklist of Scsi's ten Web Site Best Practices for Usability and Accessibility that every World Class Level Web Site should provide its visitors -- to quickly and effectively assess their company's Web site pages.

Scsi's STCEW's Web Site Best Practices scoring scale

On a scale of 0-100, where do your Web pages score when measured against Scsi's ten Web Site Best Practices? To find out, read on and apply the STCEW exercise for yourself.

Are you fully aware of the significant economic and productivity-related benefits that can be realized if your company works toward achieving a World Class Level Web Site?

Why bother at all to answer this question, anyway? After all, your Web site works, and you don't really want to spend time on such details, anyway, right? Well, if that is your current attitude, Scsi requests that you pause a moment to reflect on just this one statement before you decide to leave this Web page:

Regardless of what media are used by any and all sizes of businesses, the basic principles of effective communications remain the same: Give the (prospective or current) customer what he wants, when he wants it, keep him happy with prompt, courteous, and complete service, and make it easy for him to do business with you.

Moreover, Scsi can assure you up front that it will literally pay you and your company numerous dividends (monetary and otherwise) for actually seeking World Class Level status -- if you commit to following through by using your managerial skills to interface and work together with your technical staff to reach this worthy and worthwhile objective.

Of course, getting there (attainment of a World Class Level Web Site) requires determining and taking appropriate action steps to address Web usability and Web accessibility issues -- incorporated by design within Scsi's Web Site Best Practices for any World Class Level Web Site.

More than likely, however, Scsi suspects that you will discover for yourself -- if you take the time to make use of Scsi's Test Criteria Evaluation Worksheet (STCEW) Tool -- that many if not all of Scsi's Web Site Best Practices are either absent, poorly addressed, or possibly are unattainable given your company's currently-in-place decisions regarding Web site design and implementation.

Looking ahead ... If your company, its management, and its staff are serious about striving to offer a World Class level Web site, Scsi has listed below just a few categories of Web site issues each of which must be effectively addressed -- along with some representative questions that should always be answered appropriately if you want to gain a Web visitor's acceptance of your Web site as a place to eagerly go to, spend some time there, return to often, and to recommend it to others.

Having such a real "win-win" situation in place for your Web site(s), working tirelessly for both your company and all of the Web site visitors on a 24x7 basis, would be ideal, now wouldn't it? Well, read on to learn how you can achieve it.

Web Accessibility Issues

Here are just a few of the types of accessibility-related questions that should be addressed:

  1. Are there Operating System(s) and/or Web browser type(s) restrictions (e.g. Microsoft Windows O/S and Internet Explorer 5.x or higher) that your technical staff has made their standard -- thereby tending to "lock out" other Operating Systems (e.g., Linux, Mac) and Web browsers (e.g, Netscape, Firefox, Amaya, Safari, etc.) from being able to reliably render Web page content? -- See Scsi's Web Site Best Practice #2.
  2. Can a text mode-only Web browser be used to display each Web page's contents in a meaningful way, or do your Web pages require that JavaScript be enabled? -- See Scsi's Web Site Best Practice #2.
  3. Are plug-ins required to display portions or all of a page's contents?
  4. If your company has involvement with any U.S. Government contracts or Departments, can any visitor to your Web site navigate among all hyperlinks on any given Web page using only the keyboard -- a basic Section 508 requirement?

 

*** Return to TOP of this page. ***

 

Web Usability Issues

Here are just a few of the types of usability-related questions that should be addressed:

  1. Does every Web page load quickly (say, in less than 20 seconds if a 56.6k bps dialup modem is used)? -- See Scsi's Web Site Best Practice #1.
  2. Does every Web page's Title really tell me what I'm supposed to be reading about?
  3. Are the Web page graphics a "mixed bag" consisting of both graphics-only and hyperlinked graphics -- without distinguishing features or representations provided?
  4. When and if the pointing cursor is placed over any given hyperlink, is tool tip-based information displayed to indicate clearly to the visitor exactly where making that selection will take the user or whatever else will occur if and when that selection is made?
  5. Also, do both graphics- and text-based hyperlinks include such informational tool tips (as balloon text descriptions)? -- See Scsi's Web Site Best Practice #3.
  6. When and if the pointing cursor is placed over any given hyperlink, is tool tip-based information displayed to indicate clearly to the visitor exactly where making that selection will take the user or whatever else will occur if and when that selection is made? -- See also Scsi's Web Site Best Practice #4.
  7. For any given Web page are already-visited hyperlinks (that is, those accessed during the current or previous browsing sessions) readily distinguishable from the remaining not-yet-selected hyperlinks?
  8. Is a Search window provided on every Web page within the overall Web site's domain, and does it always allow for user selection of searching either within the Web site or throughout the World Wide Web (WWW) simply by a radio button selection? -- See See Scsi's Web Site Best Practice #5.
  9. Is the Web page layout fixed or is it liquid, that is, does it always automatically adjust to fill the entire width of the Web browser window -- regardless of screen resolution settings that are in effect? -- See See Scsi's Web Site Best Practice #7.
  10. Do most or all of the Web pages adhere to a consistent layout, while also carefully excluding navigational hyperlinks that would do nothing more than return you to the very page you currently have displayed?
  11. Is there meaningful, easily located company contact information (read: Name, Title, Address, Telephone Number, and e-mail address) provided for the user to select a preferred mode of communication, rather than have to fill out a form that goes who knows where and does not allow for saving of the submitted information for later retrieval (as would an e-mail communication)? -- See Scsi's Web Site Best Practice #8.
  12. Is "Intelligent printing" of the contents of a Web page provided for the convenience of the user -- providing black-and-white-only printouts that automatically word wrap so as not to lose any text during printouts, regardless of viewing text size or page orientation settings that are in effect at any time? -- See Scsi's Web Site Best Practice #9.

 

*** Return to TOP of this page. ***

Why is it that so many Web site designers, managers, and testers continue to either overlook or neglect these and other equally important Web usability and accessibility issues?

All too often, the technical details for implementing a Web site, providing content, and thorough testing of its overall functionality are left up to Web Masters, Web Mistresses, Information Architects, Web content developers, and other technical-level personnel.

Perhaps, just perhaps, when such situations exist, subsequent testing of Web pages for overall functionality, usability, and accessibility considerations all too frequently is relegated to being classified as a secondary concern that likely will either be postponed or ignored during the development cycle leading up to getting the product (a set of Web pages, in this case) released and placed onto the Web server for viewing and general use.

As a consequence, the Web site's pages will end up, not surprisingly, reflecting the very absence of adequate due diligence in addressing both Web accessibility and usability matters.

In effect, what the technical team members designed and implemented clearly will not tightly track nor match up well with what most Web site visitors (read: prospective customers) fully expect to encounter -- a straightforward and seamlessly integrated Web browsing experience throughout all pages of the entire Web site.

*** Return to TOP of this page. ***

What active role can upper Management play to keep their company's Web site customer-centric?

Imagine now what would happen if only upper-level management would take an active participant role (read: play the role of a prospective customer or visitor) to better understand the significance of the disparities cited above and their impact on the overall effectiveness of the company's Web site.

Fundamentally, upper Management will be put into the position of asking, "Will the finished product serve well to retain the visitor's attention, interest, enthusiasm for truly wanting to do business with my company as a result of these customer-focused efforts?"

As an additional incentive for taking such a proactive stance, Management should seriously take the time to imagine how much more easily suitable corrective action steps could be taken and in a much more timely fashion if such a direct participatory involvement in checking out the Web site's suitability for prime time release is adopted as company policy.

Now, wouldn't that be something to consider as a cooperative "win-win" solution for truly making things happen and to really shape up a company's Web site?

Stated another way, Management must always keep in mind that they are wholly responsible for the overall profitability of the company they work for. For that reason alone, Management should readily agree to and commit the time necessary to oversee -- if not personally exercise for themselves -- their company's Web site's pages to "check things out" -- not just take the technical staff's word for it that the Web site is ever so good and ready for prime time.

In fact, as quickly as possible in the overall design-and-implementation cycle, Management should begin to appreciate the types of problems that visitors to their Web site will be encountering, especially if left "as is."

Moreover, by their managerial-level positions within the corporate hierarchy, Management should demand that corrective action steps be taken quickly by the technical staff to remedy all such problems which they themselves have confirmed do exist within the company Web site's pages.

*** Return to TOP of this page. ***

Management's Commitment to Hands-on STCEW-based Testing is critical

Gaining an appreciation for what needs to be addressed to assure that Scsi's ten Web Site Best Practices for Usability and Accessibility are implemented throughout any Web site can be a daunting task. However, with that stated at the outset, a significant amount of insight and help toward addressing this matter is no more than a few navigational steps away -- a no-cost, easy-to-use 'cheat sheet' that anyone from lower-level department managers up through the CIO , CLO , CTO , CFO , CEO , President, and Chairman of the Board (COB) can not only quickly learn but also to make appropriate use of the now-quantified assessments.

The helpful tool referred to here is labeled as Scsi's Test Criteria Evaluation Worksheet (STCEW) Tool. Note that some typical examples of what the Test Criteria Evaluation Worksheet (STCEW) Tool helps you to assess regarding any Web site's pages have already been listed above.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Think about it. You, your associates, your management staff, and your technical staff can all make use of the STCEW tool to quantitatively assess and easily double-check the quality of A-N-Y Web site's Web pages, period!

As someone in Management, you may perhaps also seek to apply the STCEW tool to discover for yourself that (possibly) your competitors' Web site pages are scoring higher than yours (read: doing a better job at keeping visitors who just don't want to deal with your Web site's problems). After all, wouldn't you also naturally gravitate toward patronizing a more customer-centric Web site, all other things being equal?

*** Return to TOP of this page. ***

How does Scsi's Test Criteria Evaluation Worksheet (STCEW) Tool make things so easy?

To quickly find out what seamlessly integrated and clearly demonstrable benefits are claimed for each and every Web page, take a moment now to either view or download Scsi's Test Criteria Evaluation Worksheet (STCEW) Tool -- especially by using Scsi's convenient one-pager STCEW worksheet file to quantitatively score any page -- on any Web site -- you so choose to evaluate. At that point, you should draw your own conclusions as to their degree of conformance to Scsi's "Perfect 10" Set of "World Class Level" Web Site Best Practices.

Scsi's STCEW Tool document

With an STCEW document displayed on-screen in its own browser window or printed out as a hardcopy document in front of you and any Web page of your choosing opened for viewing in its own window, here is what you can quickly do:

  1. Pick one of Scsi's "Perfect 10" Set of "World Class Level" Web Site Best Practices, preferably the one you feel most comfortable in addressing as your way of getting started.
  2. Either while viewing the PDF or Doc document on-line or by writing directly on a hardcopy printout of the worksheet, provide the Yes or No answer for that particular feature.
  3. Pick another one of the remaining nine Web Site Best Practices that you feel you can assess with some degree of confidence and enter the letter (Y or N) that you decide is applicable.
  4. Repeat this procedure for as many of the Web Site Best Practices that you feel you can assess without undue difficulty.
  5. If you don't really want to stop without completing some of the more complicated assessments (e.g., #2: Viewable with any browser or #10: Passes W3C validation tests for HTML, CSS, and Accessibility - Priority Levels 1, 2, and 3 inclusive), get technical assistance from someone else (perhaps even the Webmaster or Web mistress) to help you complete those. Alternatively, you can pore over Scsi's #1: Why Validate a Web Site's Pages? for more pointers on learning how to do these tests yourself using publicly accessible validation tools.
  6. If you don't want to bother -- either by getting someone else to help you or by figuring it out for yourself -- with assessing one or more of the remaining Web Site Best Practices, Scsi suggests that it is safer to assume that an N (for No) applies for most Web site's pages, make that entry for now, and move on to the next step stated below.
  7. When you've gotten through entering either a Y (for Yes) or an N (for No) for all ten Web Site Best Practices, assign a value of ten points for every Y(es) entry and tally up the resulting score for that Web page.
  8. Finally, grade the resulting Web Site Best Practices score according to Scsi's 0-100 grading scale, namely: Perfect (100), Excellent (90), Good (70 or 80), Fair (50 or 60), Poor (30 or 40), Abysmal (10 or 20), and Total Failure (a zero). That's it, you have successfully completed one STCEW Tool-based exercise.
  9. Once you get the STCEW Tool-based exercise and assessment techniques clearly in mind and are comfortable with them, Scsi encourages you to repeat the exercise for whatever other Web pages you'd care to evaluate in the same manner. In all likelihood, some Web pages may prove to score higher or lower that the first Web page you tested. Learning this fact should prove interesting in and of itself. Don't you agree?

 

*** Return to TOP of this page. ***

What will the resulting Web Site Best Practices scores for your Web site's pages reveal about the overall quality and effectiveness of your Web site's pages?

Provided below are Scsi's general guidelines for assessing your Web site's usability and accessibility -- based on the resulting scores with their corresponding ratings, namely: Perfect (100), Excellent (90), Good (70 or 80), Fair (50 or 60), Poor (30 or 40), Abysmal (10 or 20), and Total Failure (a zero).

A score of 100 = "Perfect 10"

Scoring a 100 (via ten "Y" answers for the STCEW Tool's checklist) means you have achieved a "Perfect 10" score for those pages, and they are fully in conformance with Scsi's World Class Level Quality Standard.

If you even get one Web page to reach this level, you have REALLY done your homework, and your company and staff deserve kudos for all their efforts to reach this plateau. Congratulations are in order, but you'll still have to work on all those Web pages that did not pass all of Scsi's "Perfect 10" Set of "World Class Level" Web Site Best Practices, of course.

*** Return to TOP of this page. ***

A score of 90 = Excellent rating

Scoring a 90 for any Web site page qualifies as an Excellent rating, and you are ever-so-close to being fully in conformance with Scsi's World Class Level Quality Standard.

*** Return to TOP of this page. ***

A score of 70 or 80 = Good rating

Scoring either a 70 or an 80 for any Web site page qualifies as a Good rating, and you are still head-and-shoulders above nearly all other Web site's pages when measured against Scsi's World Class Level Quality Standard.

Perhaps surprisingly, Scsi feels that congratulations are still in order for such scores given what most Web sites tend to have as STCEW scores, namely less than 40 -- Yes, the situation really is that bad out there.

So, pat yourself on the back for being a good manager and be sure to let your technical staff know that they have, for the most part, done their homework toward effectively addressing both Web usability and accessibility issues -- at least in comparison with the vast majority of Web sites. With that said, there is still room for improvement, but now you'll know at least where you should be focusing your efforts to make your Web site all that much better.

*** Return to TOP of this page. ***

A score of 50 or 60 = Fair rating

Scoring either 50 or 60 for any Web site pages qualifies for a Fair rating, and this indicates that your staff is at least making some headway toward achieving the goal of a World Class Level Web site. Nonetheless, there is still a long way to go before you can say you've done all you can in this regard. Keep the effort going toward this end, and you will succeed eventually.

*** Return to TOP of this page. ***

A score of 30 or 40 = Typical (less-than-fair) rating

Scoring either a 30 or 40 for any Web site pages indicates that your company's Web site is -- believe it or not -- still above many others when it comes to addressing Scsi's set of Web Site Best Practices when compared with the usual results obtained, namely: 0 to 20. However, you have your work cut out for you to raise the quality bar higher, and you should begin immediately to do so.

*** Return to TOP of this page. ***

A score of 20, 10, or 0 = Poor, Abysmal, or Total Failure ratings (respectively)

If your Web site pages fall into this low-end scoring range, you should really be concerned that your competitors are making strides to gain market share and you are most likely having significant levels of silent losses due to prospective or current customer dissatisfaction with your Web site.

In short, your Web site needs substantial help immediately if it is to become even an acceptable Web site design.

Granted, such a statement is certainly is not what you will want to hear, but isn't it better to know -- especially by finding out for yourself and then committing yourself to taking proactive steps toward implementing a plan to address these issues rather than not to know about such issues at all?

*** Return to TOP of this page. ***

Summarial Conclusion for Managers

The bottom line is really whether or not you can honestly answer "Yes" to the following types of questions:

  1. Are you really making every effort to give the prospective customer what he wants to see, access, investigate, search for, as well as to assure that he or she can easily get in touch with your company (preferably in any of several ways, according to the visitor's preferences)?
  2. Or, are you essentially telling the Web visitor that this is all we are going to do on your behalf and you can take it or leave it.

 

If your Web site comes across to its visitors that the latter is your company's stance, then you are in really big trouble, and your competitors are only a few hyperlinks or URL addresses away from being selected by those individuals whom you turn off by failing to address these fundamental customer service-oriented issues.

What should you do if your answers are "No" to any one of more of the above-stated questions? Scsi's recommendation is to take immediate remedial action steps NOW to fix your Web site's pages (and underlying design as necessary) as soon as is practicable. As a responsible Manager, if you establish in consultation with your technical staff that the challenges that must be addressed require calling in Scsi's cost-effective Productivity and Knowledge Transfer consulting services, feel free to Contact Us for professional assistance toward that end.

*** Return to TOP of this page. ***

Major Navigation Hyperlinks

NAVIGATION: Skip to MAIN HEADING of this page, view or download a PDF version of this Web page's contents (including associated hyperlinks), jump to TOP of this page, or visit the Portal, Home, Expanded Home, Graphics-based Home, About Scsi, Site Map, Productivity, Scsi's WebKISS™ Guides, Other Web Sites, or Contact Us page of the Scsi P&KT Web Site.

*** Return to TOP of this page. ***

Need immediate assistance?

Call (859) 261-5908 to immediately reach Raymond Sonoff, President of Sonoff Consulting Services, Inc. (Scsi), 271 Saxony Drive, Crestview Hills, KY 41017-2294 USA, send an e-mail message to "info AT sonoffconsulting DOT com" to get answers to your specific questions, or access Scsi's Contact Form 1 Web page (or the thumbnail image provided below), and fill out the form's fields citing whatever you want addressed by Scsi.

Scsi's Contact Form 1 thumbnail.

Remember: If you have some questions to ask, wish to request additional information about specific topics, or want to send a request for proposal, Scsi will always welcome your inquiries and respond promptly -- often the very same day.

*** Return to TOP of this page. ***

Web Page Validation and Contact Information

Scsi's WebKISS™ Guide #4: What could Management learn by exercising Scsi's Test Criteria Evaluation Worksheet (STCEW) Tool on their Web Site's Pages? Page was last updated, validated -- to assure full conformance to W3C's HTML5, screen medium cascading style sheet (CSS3), and WCAG Accessibility (Priorities 1, 2, and 3, inclusive) recommendations -- and uploaded on Wednesday, February 10, 2016 at 4:20 p.m. ET by Raymond Sonoff, President of 271 Saxony Drive, Crestview Hills, KY 41017-2294 USA: Telephone: (859) 261-5908.

*** Return to TOP of this page. ***