Duck Digital

RMIT Web Review - Assessment (1998-09-29)

RMIT Quality Management: http://minyos.its.rmit.edu.au/~rqdbm/index.htm

This screen has been assessed according to a working set of criteria available [on-line} at:

http://www.cinemedia.net/FOD/DuckDigital/criteria.html

Heuristic overview

In my opinion this site reminds me of the plumber with dripping taps. I believe you should take a more task oriented approach to its design. Maybe I've got your purpose all wrong - I can't tell because the sites purpose is so unclear. Deeper down it appears you are offering me a guide as to how to write a document for RMIT - is this correct?

Technically the image burden is too high (over 30K). When you use a table to organise a images with no ALT tags you are locking out a section of your user audience who can't read tables. Try loading the site into a text-mode web browser and you will see what I mean. This does not show how table can't be read bit it does show the kind of inteface many people with low grade machines or slow modems might use. The ALT tags you have used are readable but not the others.

  1. Encoding: I worry about the incomplete </HEAD> and </BODY> tags - maybe I'm out of date and this doesn't matter anymore?

  2. Search: You are sending people the RMIT search engine but have you ever tried to use it?

  3. Local/main: I'm afraid it is not apparent to me why I should choose between the local/main systems. They look the same - maybe they are not but it makes me feel powerless.

  4. Feedback: Talking to more boxes. A human with an email address can prove far more effective. (see yellow pages kitchen ads - strike rate goes up by 80% if a human image is provided) Who am I talking to? How about a photo or a phone number in case I really need to talk?

  5. Tips: Overall these seem a bit woolly except where they are task oriented. A novice like me is put off by mission-type statements that read like brocure wear. When I read whatis.htm I am turned off and think this is just rubbish why don't they get to the point.

  6. What's new: This says it all `under construction'. In the real world all effective web sites are under construction at all times. Why not start with a photograph of a human with an email and phone number - hint - an address is useful too. Your users could ask you things and gradually you could build the site to reflect the nature of these enquiries.

Apologies for this but overall, my feeling about the look and feel of all these boxes is that quality is presented as box-like. I don't know anyone who thinks in boxes or who wants to be confined to a box. If this is quality then the message you are sending to your audience is that they won't find it easily in this site. In other words there is no real world match with your own perceptions of quality and the one you are presenting.

Download Time

The down load time for this screen was not within the recommended range.

URL
Size
Time (seconds)
http://minyos.its.rmit.edu.au/~rqdbm/index.htm 2.39 K 0.66
images/rmit-tl.gif 1.78 K 0.50
images/heading.gif 7.08 K 1.97
images/button1.gif 1.74 K 0.48
images/button2.gif 1.47 K 0.41
images/button3.gif 1.56 K 0.43
images/button4.gif 1.71 K 0.47
images/buttonx.gif 1.39 K 0.39
images/syscomp.gif 1.76 K 0.49
images/os1.gif 1.54 K 0.43
images/os2.gif 1.56 K 0.43
images/os4.gif 1.68 K 0.47
images/os3.gif 1.51 K 0.42
images/os5.gif 1.52 K 0.42
images/local.gif 0.77 K 0.21
images/search2.gif 1.40 K 0.39
images/feedback.gif 1.48 K 0.41
Total
32.33 K
8.98
HTTP Request Delays

8.50
Total + Delays

17.48

Accessibility Suggestions

  1. Provide alternative text for all images
    Line 8: <img src="images/rmit-tl.gif" align=bottom width=101 height=47>
    Line 10: <img src="images/heading.gif" align=bottom width=490 height=66>
    Line 12: <td><td><a href="howtouse.htm"><img src="images/button1.gif" alt="How to use the quality system" width=95 height=40 border=0></a><td><a href="help/help.htm"><img src="images/button2.gif" alt="Tips for beginners" border=0 width=95 height=40></a><td><a href="adding/adding.htm"><img src="images/button3.gif" alt="adding to the system" border=0 width=95 height=40></a><td><a href="whomanag.htm"><img src="images/button4.gif" alt="Who manages the system?" border=0 width=95 height=40></a><td><a href="whatsnew.htm"><img src="images/buttonx.gif" alt="What's New?" border=0 width=95 height=40></a><tr><td><td colspan=5 valign="bottom" align="center"><img src="images/syscomp.gif" width=475 height=40>
    Line 27: <td><td colspan=2><a href="its/itsindex.htm"><img src="images/local.gif" border=0></a><td colspan=3 align="right"><a href="search.htm"><img src="images/search2.gif" alt="Search" border=0 width=107 height=44></a><a href="feedback.htm"><img src="images/feedback.gif" alt="Feedback" align=bottom border=0 width=107 height=44></a>

Browser Compatibility Problems:

  1. Attribute BGCOLOR in element BODY must be assigned a color for browser(s): HTML 4.0
    Line 3: <body bgcolor=FFFFFF link="#FF8000" vlink="#C10000" alink="#FFFF00">

  2. Required attribute ALT is missing from tag IMG for browser(s): HTML 4.0
    Line 8: <img src="images/rmit-tl.gif" align=bottom width=101 height=47>
    Line 10: <img src="images/heading.gif" align=bottom width=490 height=66>
    Line 12: <td><td><a href="howtouse.htm"><img src="images/button1.gif" alt="How to use the quality system" width=95 height=40 border=0></a><td><a href="help/help.htm"><img src="images/button2.gif" alt="Tips for beginners" border=0 width=95 height=40></a><td><a href="adding/adding.htm"><img src="images/button3.gif" alt="adding to the system" border=0 width=95 height=40></a><td><a href="whomanag.htm"><img src="images/button4.gif" alt="Who manages the system?" border=0 width=95 height=40></a><td><a href="whatsnew.htm"><img src="images/buttonx.gif" alt="What's New?" border=0 width=95 height=40></a><tr><td><td colspan=5 valign="bottom" align="center"><img src="images/syscomp.gif" width=475 height=40>
    Line 27: <td><td colspan=2><a href="its/itsindex.htm"><img src="images/local.gif" border=0></a><td colspan=3 align="right"><a href="search.htm"><img src="images/search2.gif" alt="Search" border=0 width=107 height=44></a><a href="feedback.htm"><img src="images/feedback.gif" alt="Feedback" align=bottom border=0 width=107 height=44></a>

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