Crawler visibility and human usability of a government services website from a technomunity angle.

Weideman, M.

Proceedings of the Community informatics for developing countries: Understanding and organising for a participatory future information society. 31 August-2 September. Cape Town, South Africa.

Weideman, M. 2006. Crawler visibility and human usability of a government services website from a technomunity angle. Proceedings of the Community informatics for developing countries: Understanding and organising for a participatory future information society. 31 August-2 September. Cape Town, South Africa. Online: http://web-visibility.co.za/website-visibility-digital-library-seo/

ABSTRACT
The primary objective of this research project was to determine how the Cape Gateway Website measures up in the website visibility and usability stakes. The correct use of search engines could assist users in identifying and assessing relevant information in the shortest time possible. For this process to be successful, the search query must be formulated correctly. This involves the nomination of keywords, perceived by the user to be the most accurate in describing the information need. The way in which the website has been designed plays an important role. This is to not only ensure that it is indexed by search engines, but also to ensure that the website is ranked highly during a search. The Cape Gateway Website was analyzed and measured against generally accepted good practice measures in visibility elements, as well as using an industry standard program. Secondly, the human element in website design involves recognition of the usage patterns and preferences of the human visitor. Much research has been done about user-friendly design; reading patterns, click rates, etc. However, it is also claimed that the implementation of these issues in real-life websites lag behind the theory. A number of usability tests have been done to determine if this claim is true for the chosen website. Results seem to indicate that the website under consideration makes better use of usability than of visibility techniques. As a result, it might not reap the maximum benefit possible in terms of Internet exposure, and to a lesser extent of providing a satisfying user experience. The primary conclusion reached is that implementation of basic good practice of both issues at hand will improve the service rendered by this website to the community it is serving. Crawler visibility and human usability of a government services website from a technomunity angle.
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