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usability examples

Here are examples of South African web sites and how they perform in terms of usability. Although most examples show a lack of considering usability issues, there fortunately are a few stars.

Organisations often seem to spend a large proportion of development budgets on fancy graphics, elaborate designs or other overkill paraphernalia. Sadly it is usually evident when visiting such sites that not a single cent was spent on functionality issues such as how web users experience the functionality of the site.

In fact, it was quite shocking to see how many sites are inaccessable due to very basic usability problems for which solutions have been around since the early days of the web. They should have been mastered long time ago. The most common problems seem to be link rot and not providing alternative accessing methods. It is even more shocking that the worst culprits are those who are supposed to be media experts: SABC, e-TV and M-Net. Well, e-TV's web site got our highest score. But at 20% the score is nothing to be proud of!

We performed tests to determine the usability of these sites. In usability studies testing the performance of a specific task is the most basic of issues, because that is what by far the largest percentage of users would be doing regularly -- see a brief discussion on task-specific tests.

NB: some of these sites have been redesigned since our case study was performed. If you access these websites now you may thus not see the same site we tested, which is why we included screenshots.