CHAPTER 10: CONCLUSIONS
10.1 Website design presents a considerable challenge, with the needs of visitors covering a range of different areas, shown in Figure 10.1. Balancing these, while keeping in mind the objectives of the organisation, can be a difficult goal.
Figure 10.1: Challenges in website design
10.2 For the Transport Scotland website, some of the challenges are made more acute by the varying degrees of understanding of transport issues that users have. It is clear from the research that there is a lack of understanding of the remit of Transport Scotland outside those who work in the transport sector and it is important to provide some guidance to visitors about what they can expect from the website.
10.3 Furthermore, the information required from users varies substantially. Industry professionals look for detailed, technical data on current projects or consultations, while local residents seek information on how projects might affect them. The overall structure of the website needs to be simple, in order that those with little experience in transport can navigate to the content they need, while facilitating easy access to the detailed technical information required by transport professionals.
10.4 Given these challenges, the current Transport Scotland website provides a satisfactory experience for its users. The website generally meets expectations in terms of the design, content and functionality and users can successfully navigate it to access the key content made available.
10.5 A number of key usability and accessibility barriers exist, which impact upon the ease with which users can locate information. The website has a number of accessibility problems and there is much work to be done before the website meets the AA standards of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, published by the World Wide Web Consortium. Without this work being undertaken, some users with disabilities will continue to find it difficult to access the web content.
10.6 The content on the website is generally well-received by stakeholders, with material being considered specific, useful and easy to understand. However, the content provided on the website is primarily text-based, which means that users skim through it and miss important details contained within the material. The website also uses a lot of jargon and acronyms, which few users understand.
10.7 There is considerable interest and support among stakeholders for the development of the Transport Scotland website. Ideas for new ways of displaying content and new functionality were positively received. Many stakeholders welcomed these ideas as things that would enhance the website experience, and make the website easier to use and the content more accessible to users.