Friday, September 30, 2005

QA Check List

Following is the check list which can be adopted by the QA.


Pages fit within the resolution(800x600)
+Design works with liquid tables to fill the user's window size.
+Separate print versions provided for long documents (liquid tables may negate this necessity). Accommodates A4 size paper.
+Site doesn't use frames.
+Complex tables are minimized.

Newer technologies are generally avoided for 1-2 years from release, or if used alternative traditional forms of content are easily available.

Home vs. Subsequent Pages & Sections

+Home page logo is larger and more centrally placed than o­n other pages.
+Home page includes navigation, summary of news/promotions, and a search feature.
+Home page answers: Where am I; What does this site do; How do I find what I want?
+Larger navigation space o­n home page, smaller o­n subsequent pages.
+Logo is present and consistently placed o­n all subsequent pages (towards upper left hand corner).
+"Home" link is present o­n all subsequent pages (but not home page).

If subsites are present, each has a home page, and includes a link back to the global home page.

+Navigation supports user scenarios gathered in the User Task Assessment phase (prior to design).
+Users can see all levels of navigation leading to any page.
+Breadcrumb navigation is present (for larger and some smaller sites).
+Site uses DHTML pop-up to show alternative destinations for that navigation level.
+Navigation can be easily learned.
+Navigation is consistently placed and changes in response to rollover or selection.
+Navigation is available when needed (especially when the user is finished doing something).
+Supplimental navigation is offered appropriately (links o­n each page, a site map/index, a search engine).
+Navigation uses visual hierarchies like movement, color, position, size, etc., to differentiate it from other page elements.
+Navigation uses precise, descriptive labels in the user's language. Icon navigation is accompanied by text descriptors.
+Navigation answers: Where am I (relative to site structure); Where have I been (obvious visited links); Where can I go (embedded, structural, and associative links)?

Redundant navigation is avoided.

Functional Items
+Terms like "previous/back" and "next" are replaced by more descriptive labels indicating the information to be found.
+Pull-down menus include a go button.
+Logins are brief.
+Forms are short and o­n o­ne page (or demonstrate step X of Y, and why collecting a larger amount of data is important and how the user will benefit).

Documentation pages are searchable and have an abundance of examples. Instructions are task-oriented and step-by-step. A short conceptual model of the system is available, including a diagram that explains how the different parts work together. Terms or difficult concepts are linked to a glossary.

+Links are underlined.
+Size of large pages and multi-media files is indicated next to the link, with estimated dowload times.
+Important links are above the fold.
+Links to releated information appear at bottom of content or above/near the top.
+Linked titles make sense out of context.
+If site requires registration or subscription, provides special URLs for free linking. Indicates the pages are freely linkable, and includes and easy method to discover the URL.
+If site is running an ad, it links to a page with the relevant content, not the corporate home page.
In content:
+Keeps linked phrases short to aid scanning (2-4 words).
+Links o­n meaningful words and phrases. Avoids phrases like, "click here."
+Includs a brief description of what the user should expect o­n the linked page.
In code:
+Uses relative links when linking between pages in a site. Uses absolute links to pages o­n unrelated sites.

Uses link titles in the code for IE users (preferably less than 60 characters, no more than 80).

Search Capabilities

+A search feature appears o­n every page (exceptions include pop-up forms and the like).
+Search box is wide to allow for visible search parameters.
+Advanced Search, if included, is named just that (to scare off novices).
+Search system performs a spelling check and offers synonym expansion.
+Site avoids scoped searching. If included it indicates scope at top of both query and results pages, and additionally offers an automatic extended site search immediately with the same parameters.
+Results do not include a visible scoring system.

Eliminates duplicate occurances of the same results (e.g., vs. vs.

Page Design

+Content accounts for 50% to 80% of a page's design (what's left over after logos, navigation, non-content imagery, ads, white space, footers, etc.).
+Page elements are consistent, and important information is above the fold.
+Pages load in 10 seconds or less o­n users bandwidth.
+Pages degrade adequately o­n older browsers.
+Text is over plain background, and there is high contrast between the two.
+Link styles are minimal (generally o­ne each of link, visited, hover, and active states). Additional link styles are used o­nly if necessary.

Specified the layout of any liquid areas (usually content) in terms of percentages.

Fonts and Graphics

+Graphics are properly optimized.
+Text in graphics is generally avoided.
+Preferred fonts are used: Verdana, Arial, Geneva, sans-serif.
+Fonts, when enlarged, don't destroy layout.
+Images are reused rather than rotated.
+Page still works with graphics turned off.
+Graphics included are necessary to support the message.
+Fonts are large enough and scalable.
+Browser chrome is removed from screen shots.

Animation and 3D graphics are generally avoided.

Content Design
+Uses bullets, lists, very short paragraphs, etc. to make content scannable.
+Articles are structured with scannable nested headings.
+Content is formatted in chunks targeted to user interest, not just broken into multiple pages.
+No moving text; most is left-justified; sans-serif for small text; no upper-case sentences/paragraphs; italics and bold are used sparingly.

Dates follow the international format (year-month-day) or are written out (August 30, 2001).


+Writing is brief, concise, and well edited.
+Information has persistent value.
+Avoids vanity pages.
+Starts each page with the conclusion, and o­nly gradually added the detail supporting that conclusion.
+One idea per paragraph.
+Uses simple sentence structures and words.
+Gives users just the facts. Uses humor with caution.


Uses objective language.

Folder Structure
+Folder names are all lower-case and follow the alpha-numeric rules found under "Naming Conventions" below.

Segmented the site sections according to:

  • Root directory (the "images" folder usually goes at the top level within the root folder)
  • Sub-directories (usually o­ne for each area of the site, plus an images folder at the top level within the root directory)
  • Images are restricted to o­ne folder ("images") at the top level within the root directory (for global images) and then if a great number of images are going to be used o­nly section-specifically, those are stored in local "images" folders

Naming Conventions

+Uses clients preferred naming method. If possible, uses longer descriptive names (like "content_design.htm" vs. "contdesi.htm").
+Uses alphanumeric characters (a-z, 0-9) and - (dash) or _ (underscore)
+Doesn't use spaces in file names.
+Avoids characters which require a shift key to create, or any punctuation other than a period.
+Uses o­nly lower-case letters.

Ends filenames in .htm (not .html).

+Any files taking longer than 10 seconds to download include a size warning (>50kb o­n a 56kbps modem, >200kb o­n fast connections). Also includes the running time of video clips or animations, and indicate any non-standard formats.
+Includes a short summary (and a still clip) of the linked object.

If appropriate to the content, includes links to helper applications, like Adobe Acrobat Reader if the file is a .pdf.

Page Titles
+Follows title strategy ... Page Content Descriptor : Site Name, Site section (E.g.: Content Implementation Guidelines : CDG Solutions, Usability Process )
+Tries to use o­nly two to six words, and makes their meaning clear when taken out of context.
+The first word(s) are important information-carrying o­ne(s).

Avoids making several page titles start with the same word.


+Describes the article in terms that relate to the user.
+Uses plain language.

Avoids enticing teasers that don't describe.


+Uses CSS to format content appearance (as supported by browsers), rather than older HTML methods.
+Uses a browser detect and serve the visitor a CSS file that is appropriate for their browser/platform combination.

Uses linked style sheets.

Documentation and Help Pages

+When using screen shots, browser chrome was cropped out.
+Hired a professional to write help sections (a technical writer).

Documentation pages are searchable.


Documentation section has an abundance of examples.


Instructions are task-oriented and step-by-step.


A short conceptual model of the system is provided, including a diagram that explains how the different parts work together.


Terms or difficult concepts are linked to a glossary.

Content Management


Site has procedures in place to remove outdated information immediately (such as calendar events which have passed).


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