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Annual Website Reviews

The IT Web Team is in the process of conducting the first annual review of USU websites inside OU Campus. The entire process is expected to take several months to complete.

Purpose

The purpose of the review is three fold:

  1. Improve accessibility--ensuring that all website visitors can access the content presented
  2. "Web accessibility refers to the inclusive practice of removing barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to websites, by people with disabilities. When sites are correctly designed, developed and edited, all users have equal access to information and functionality."

  3. Improve usability--making it easier for website visitors to consume the valuable content on USU websites
  4. "Web usability is the ease of use of a website. Some broad goals of usability are the presentation of information and choices in a clear and concise way, a lack of ambiguity and the placement of important items in appropriate areas."

  5. Improve search engine optimzation (SEO)--helping website visitors find relevant content with improved metadata
  6. "Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the online visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine's unpaid results—often referred to as "natural", "organic", or "earned" results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a website appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine's users."

Word art highlighting SEO, accessibility and usability

Areas of Review

The review includes the following:

  • Web logos (the image in the header of each page) that meet USU guidelines*
  • Navigation links (working toward fully functional navigation)
  • Button images (linked images vs. styled text)
  • Page titles (to enhance SEO, i.e. site name | USU)*
  • Headers that are correctly nested (appropriate H1, H2, H3 etc.)
  • Meaningful links (working toward removing "click here" and other non-specific link text and changing them to be more usable to all website visitors)
  • Broken links (identifying links that go to content that has moved or no longer exists)
  • Image quality (working to correct fuzzy or stretched/non-proportional images)
  • Alt text for non-decorative images (allowing website visitors using screen readers to fully experience the content of USU webpages)
  • Updating (if needed) the favicon for the site (replacing the older, less crisp symbol "A" that appears in browser tabs)*
  • Responsiveness (making sure it is as useful on a mobile platform as it is on a full-screen desktop)*
  • Dated content (making note of events that have passed or content that is not up-to-date)

The areas marked with an asterisk (*) will be fixed by our team. The rest will be noted and included in the review report so that department personnel have helpful information for making changes.

Audit Report

Once this audit is done, we will report back to the website content managers in the website access group, or their designated representatives, on the results. This report will allow departmental teams to have concrete recommendations they can review in making changes to page content. The IT Web Team is happy to provide assistance as needed.

We will also include a complete list of current website access group members, and their recent activity, allowing departments to provide feedback on any changes they would like to make to the access group(s).  We encourage the access group to be limited to only those who will actually be working directly on the site.  If someone has never made a save, this may be because their role is administrative and not day-to-day management of the site.

If you have any questions, please contact our team by phone at (435) 797-8551 or by email at pad@usu.edu.