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Thursday 17 April 2003

Govern-mental skillz [amnesia]

Liked this one :)
The Financial Services Authority's web site has finished second last in a survey of the design quality of 55 government internet sites. Sitemorse, the company that carried out the research, trained its software on government sites of all kinds including the Home Office and the Deputy Prime Minister's Office. The software does its scanning by replicating the activity of a user but at an infinitely greater speed. It conducted its survey of the 55 sites in less than 24 hours in the second week of March this year. 'Sitemorse is a web tool. Anyone can use it if they have a web site. It goes to the front of a site and clicks on every permutation of every page link and option. Then it checks it against a list of errors - e.g., compliance with WC3, which is a standard setting body that looks at the way people use HTML,' Laurence Shaw, founder and director of Sitemorse, told Complinet. 'We looked at both the main ministers' sites and the government sites which promote e-business. It's rather embarrassing to note that, which the government is promoting to get people interested in e-commerce, came bottom of the table.'


  1. I'm not entirely sure how useful it is to get some automatic softwae to assess a web site based on just clicking every link. Most of what's wrong with web sites in terms of navigation (finding what you want) is just because content isn't where you'd expect it to be or it's not listed clearly. No computer program is going to be able to tell you that, you need a human being to work out that a site is truly retarded.

  2. True but then I left out the bit when it said that the software had identified over six *thousand* errors on the govt web site!

  3. They'll be w3c errors though, you get them on most websites because people don't normally adhere to the standard. It's not a big problem, as 99.9% of people use Internet Explorer which isn't that fussy about compliant code. It's a big bleat for someone trying to sell their analysis tool, but a big bleet about nothing. As an example of what bull this is, I ran your employers website through the validator Am, and it wouldn't even begin to process it because you don't even have the basis of compliance, a character encode label. So you failed 100%. I forced the document type to see how you'd fare if that was complete, and found 70 validation errors on just the first page.
    The reported worse site in that test, didn't have any difficulty being validated, and only threw up six errors.
    Are the government still shit Am?

  4. 00000wwwwwwnnnnnnnnnnnneeeeeeeeeed! :)


  5. Well I don't give a rat's arse about the technikology behind it Slim. I just fought it were a funny!