CHAPTER 11: RECOMMENDATIONS
11.1 The following chapter lists the recommendations from the review of the Transport Scotland website. The recommendations have been made across several different areas and each are listed in turn. Within each section, different priorities have been assigned to each recommendation. The three levels of priority are:
Priority one: Should be urgently adopted. Failure to do so will continue to present a considerable usability or accessibility barrier.
Priority two: Should be adopted in the medium term. While not presenting a considerable usability or accessibility barrier at present, adoption of the recommendation will make the website easier to use.
Priority three: Should be considered. The recommendations will improve the website experience for users.
Chapter references have been provided at the end of each recommendation.
11.2 Implementation of these recommendations will provide easier access to some of the key content on the website, particularly projects and reports.
11.2.1 Priority one
Enhance the visibility of the primary navigation menu. Increase the font size, improve the colour contrast and consider moving the menu below the main page image. (6.14)
The primary navigation structure should be simplified by removing the ‘Projects’ link and instead providing access to rail reports from the rail section of the website and road reports from the road section. (6.21)
Align the top of the secondary navigation menu with the body content, not with the banner image. (6.24)
Position the links to ‘Consultation Papers and Responses’ and ‘Publications and Guidance’ on the ‘Reports’ landing page, not the secondary navigation menu. (7.32)
11.2.2 Priority two
Consider merging the ‘Consultation Papers and Responses’ and ‘Publications and Guidance’ sections to avoid users having to distinguish between them. (7.32)
11.2.3 Priority three
Remove the tertiary navigation menu from all pages other than the homepage. (6.29)
Consider whether some or all reports can be accessed through the rail and road links in the primary navigation menu, rather than via the separate ‘Reports’ link. (6.19)
11.3 Implementation of these recommendations will enable users to navigate through the website more easily. Providing standard ways of displaying links, menus and content will make the site easier for users to learn.
11.3.1 Priority one
Reduce the number of duplicate links available across the website, in particular from the homepage. Where duplicate links exist on the website, ensure that these are worded identically. (6.16)
Standardise the way in that links are displayed. Avoid standard text colours, underline all links and ensure that all links provide a concise description of the destination, without using any jargon. (7.22)
Repair or remove all links that are broken. (6.37)
11.3.2 Priority two
Reduce the number of secondary navigation links available on each page to around eight. (6.25)
Within the ‘Project’ pages, provide a consistent series of links to standard information. (7.22)
Develop a dropdown menu approach for the minor rail projects, replicating that designed for the road projects, which will allow users to navigate to the project directly. (7.19)
Re-order the minor road dropdown menu to list motorway projects above trunk road projects. Retain the road number ordering system within this. (Appendix 4, 4)
11.4 Implementation of these recommendations will refresh the look of the website and make it more enticing to visitors, as well as improving the accessibility of the website for disabled users.
11.4.1 Priority one
Improve the colour contrast across the website, particularly for menus and links. Contrast should be checked against the colour contrast checker on the Web Accessibility Toolbar21 to ensure that sufficient differences exist. (5.3)
Ensure all images are optimised for the web and that all ALT tags follow best practice. Viewing pages with the images turned off will highlight how screen readers will handle them. (5.8 – 5.10)
11.4.2 Priority two
Improve the colour contrast of the organisation menu. (6.31)
11.4.3 Priority three
Remove the main page image. This will reduce the amount of content on the page that does not appear on page load as it requires scrolling. (5.6)
Develop all project microsites in the same style as the rest of the Transport Scotland homepage. (7.20)
Consider developing a new, fresher colour scheme, more in line with those used by the Highways Agency and Department for Transport. (4.6, 5.2, 9.5, 9.9)
11.5 Implementation of these recommendations will improve the visibility and performance of the search tool, increasing the likelihood that visitors who use it will be directed to the information they are seeking.
11.5.1 Priority one
Move the search tool into the primary navigation menu. (6.41)
11.5.2 Priority two
Re-design the search tool based around the Google template, with enhanced features that takes account of spelling mistakes, providing best matches and allowing for advanced searching. (6.42)
Tag content using terms that users are likely to search for, which will help to improve the quality of the results returned. (6.43)
11.6 Implementation of these recommendations will ensure visitors to the website are clear what the remit of the organisation is, have clear routes to progress into the website, be able to access latest news from the agency and be directed to more relevant organisations if they have arrived in error.
11.6.1 Priority one
Reduce the number of links into the main website content. (6.15)
Reduce the word count on the page. Content could be reduced to a short paragraph outlining the role of Transport Scotland with a link to further information About Transport Scotland and bullet points summarising the role of the organisation around road, rail and concessionary travel, with links to further information. (4.4)
A clear, obvious route to the concessionary travel information should be made available, perhaps using terms like ‘Free bus travel’, rather than ‘Concessionary travel’. (6.6)
11.6.2 Priority Two
Rename the ‘Links’ section ‘External Links’. (4.7)
Introduce imagery which supports the full remit of the Transport Scotland website. Ensure that at no times do all images displayed identify the same transport mode. (5.4, 5.5)
11.6.3 Priority three
Increase the range of external websites linked to from the homepage to include other transport mode websites and projects not run by Transport Scotland. (4.7)
Consider introducing a ‘Quick links’ section to allow quick navigation to key content such as rail and road projects etc. (4.5)
11.7. Implementation of these recommendations will ensure users are better able to assimilate the information presented to them and reach the desired detail they require. This should help both members of the general public and transport professionals to get what they want from the website, without getting lost in too much detail.
11.7.1 Priority one
Reduce the word count throughout the website through rigorous editing and presenting information in tables, diagrams and bullet point lists. (4.4, 7.8, 7.12)
Ensure that content is kept up-to-date. If data might be considered out-of-date by users, make reference to it being the latest information. (7.26)
Avoid the use of acronyms and jargon on the website, particularly when the term is used as a link. Expand acronyms the first time they are used on a page. (7.4, 7.5)
Provide a summary box containing key project details for each project. Details should include: background to the project and planned improvements; cost of the project; timetable and progress against timetable; impact upon travel for local residents and workers. (7.23)
11.7.2 Priority two
Provide information on how young people qualify for concessionary travel within the ‘Who qualifies?’ secondary navigation link on the Concessionary Travel page. (7.13)
Make a PDF version of each report available, with appropriate labelling to meet accessibility good practice. (7.34)
11.7.3 Priority three
Introduce more project based videos on to the website. (8.8)
Provide the opportunity for users to personalise the website by filtering out irrelevant types of content, by filtering out out-dated news and articles and by filtering out locations that are not of interest. (8.26)
Develop an interactive road map and rail map, which allows users to pin-point existing and planned projects. The map should be interactive and allow users to click through for further details on the projects. (8.22)
11.8 Implementation of these recommendations will improve trust in the programme document as an up-to-date source of information, ensure that users can locate all of the information contained in it and understand what the information means.
11.8.1 Priority one
Signpost better the second page of content by including ‘Page one of two’ at the bottom of the first page of the document. (7.27)
Repeat the column headings from page one on the second and subsequent pages. (7.29)
Provide the cost definitions in the relevant column heading. (7.28)
11.8.2 Priority two
Update the date of the document regularly, even if the data within it has not changed. (7.26)
11.8.3 Priority three
Make the scheme name a hyperlink to the relevant project summary page. (7.30)
Traffic Count Application
11.9 Implementation of these recommendations will improve the usability of this tool, allowing users to access the information and draw down the statistics they require more easily.
11.9.1 Priority one
Differentiate between traffic flow on the static map by using lines of different width as well as different colours. (Appendix 4, 21)
Provide a link to the traffic count tool more prominently on the page, towards the top left of the screen. (Appendix 4, 20)
Provide clear instructions on how to use the tool, in a prominent place next to the map. (Appendix 4, 27)
Make the red dots more sensitive, so that clicking on their edge launches the statistics. (Appendix 4, 25)
11.9.2 Priority two
Remove the physical detail from the map. (Appendix 4, 24)
Improve or remove the location search tool from the map application. (Appendix 4, 26)
Rail Performance Statistics
11.10 Implementation of these recommendations will increase the number of visitors accessing this information and improve the process of searching for performance statistics.
11.10.1 Priority one
Change the link to the Service Quality Incentive Regime data to ‘Rail Franchise Performance Statistics’. (Appendix 4, 40)
Re-design the search tool allowing users to enter all of the information required at one go (e.g. station; line or class of train). The search should be able to run when some or all of these fields are filled in. (Appendix 4, 42 - 43, 45)
The search result should lead to a page providing clear links to the statistics of interest e.g. ‘Performance statistics for Glasgow Queen Street High Level Station’ or ‘Performance statistics for Edinburgh to Glasgow via Falkirk line’. (Appendix 4, 44 - 45)
11.11 Implementation of these recommendations will increase the visibility of the e-newsletter link and minimise the numbers of people who fail to complete the email subscription form.
11.11.1 Priority one
Only collect information that will be used for profiling or segmenting subscribers, or for servicing the subscription. Remove other fields from the form. (7.38)
Right align the field labels against the boxes. (7.42)
Remove the postcode finder application from the tool. (7.40)
Only use red font to highlight an error in the form completion. Combine the error message with a warning symbol to aid people with colour-blindness. (7.39)
The successfully subscribed message should not be on red background. (7.39)
11.11.2 Priority three
Position the newsletter more prominently on the website homepage and on the relevant pages on the website. (8.14)
Provide a quarterly newsletter, in line with subscriber expectations. (8.13)