In the latest of our series examining the accessibility of the industry’s websites, Martin Hornagold looks at what works and what doesn’t on project managers’ pages
The fourth group covered in our investigation into the industry’s best and worst websites are project managers. The results are similar to the others, with no major surprises. Almost 90% of pages tested passed functionality tests, 90% passed performance tests on home broadband or faster connections, but less than half passed tests on slower connections. Only 30% passed code standards and one site had about 65,000 individual errors. About half passed mandatory accessibility tests and less than 3% passed recommended accessibility tests.
The site which came out on top, www.balfourbeattymanagement.co.uk, got the highest overall score so far – 9.1 out of 10. It achieved full marks for functionality, code quality and performance, which means most users can reach every page quickly and without errors. However, the page’s Achilles’ heel is – you guessed it – accessibility, for which it scored 6 out of 10. All its pages passed mandatory accessibility tests, yet failed recommended accessibility tests, which means the site is likely to cause problems for people with disabilities.
One feature that this site has implemented throughout is text effects. On the “People” pages for example, a series of interview-style questions are presented as links, which when clicked show or hide the answer. The idea is presumably to reduce the need for scrolling. But simple pages that require scrolling are actually far easier to read, allowing users to scan or speed-read the content. This type of effect should be used sparingly and only when of direct benefit to the user. A legitimate use would be an FAQ page where it is likely the user requires just one answer.
Top 10 project managers sites
Balfour Beatty Management www.balfourbeattymanagement.co.uk
Stride Treglown www.stridetreglown.co.uk
Leslie Clark www.lclark.com
DBK Group www.dbkgroup.co.uk
Mackenzie Partnership www.mpuk.co.uk
Cyril Sweett www.cyrilsweett.com
Parsons Brinckerhoff www.pbworld.co.uk
Franklin + Andrews www.franklinandrews.com
For the full list see attached Word document
Martin Hornagold is the managing director of business consultant the Marstan Group. This article was originally published as "Web watch - Mismanagment".