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QA For Web Sites. Ed Bremner TASI/ILRT University of Bristol Ed.Bremner@bris.ac.uk. Marieke Guy UKOLN University of Bath M.Guy@ukoln.ac.uk. Brian Kelly UKOLN University of Bath B.Kelly@ukoln.ac.uk. EIB. QA For Web Sites. Aims Of Today’s Talk

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qa for web sites
QA For Web Sites

Ed Bremner

TASI/ILRT

University of Bristol

Ed.Bremner@bris.ac.uk

Marieke Guy

UKOLN

University of Bath

M.Guy@ukoln.ac.uk

Brian Kelly

UKOLN

University of Bath

B.Kelly@ukoln.ac.uk

EIB

qa for web sites1
QA For Web Sites
  • Aims Of Today’s Talk
    • To discuss some of the approaches currently taken to QA
    • To summarise findings of surveys of Web sites
    • To make recommendations for future QA work

EIB

an introduction to qa
An Introduction to QA
  • What is Quality?

“Quality is the ability of your product to be able to satisfy your users”

Assurance?

“Quality assurance is the process that demonstrates your product is able to satisfy your users”

EIB

an introduction to qa1
An Introduction to QA
  • What does Quality Assurance give?
  • ‘Quality’ means your project is ‘useful’ and without ‘quality’ you have nothing
  • ‘Quality’ provides a future for project
  • But ‘quality assurance’ needs standards to be meaningful
  • ‘Quality’ & ‘Best Practice’ can only be considered in terms of being ‘Fit for Purpose’

QA is the opportunity to learn!

EIB

approach taken
Approach Taken
  • Two possible approaches to ensuring compliance with standards and best practices:

Enforce

    • Inspect all project’s work
    • Strict auditing, with penalties for no-compliance

EIB

approach taken1
Approach Taken
  • Two possible approaches to ensuring compliance with standards and best practices:

Encourage

    • Train all project staff
    • Developmental, explaining reasons for compliance, documenting examples of best practices and providing advice on implementation and monitoring

EIB

approach taken2
Approach Taken
  • Two possible approaches to ensuring compliance with standards and best practices:

Enforce vs Encourage

QA Focus prefers to encourage!

QA Focus - a JISC-funded project, formed to support a number of digital library development projects

EIB

qa for digitisation
QA for Digitisation
  • Do it once…..do it right:
      • Project is fundamentally dependent upon the quality of original product
      • Quality is the pre-requisite to preservation
      • Quality expectations will only grow
      • Delivery problems can be fixed, but capture problems normally can’t

EIB

qa for digitisation1
QA for Digitisation
  • A multi-level approach may be taken to QA within the digitisation process:
      • Strategic QA

Carried out before digitisation starts

Research and establishing best practice & standards

EIB

qa for digitisation2
QA for Digitisation
  • A multi-level approach may be taken to QA within the digitisation process:
      • Strategic QA
      • Workflow QA

Formative assessment, before & during development

Establishing & documenting workflow & processes

EIB

qa for digitisation3
QA for Digitisation
  • A multi-level approach may be taken to QA within the digitisation process:
      • Strategic QA
      • Workflow QA
      • Sign-off QA

Quality Control : Summative assurance at end of each process, providing an audit history for all QA work undertaken

EIB

qa for digitisation4
QA for Digitisation
  • A multi-level approach may be taken to QA within the digitisation process:
      • Strategic QA
      • Workflow QA
      • Sign-off QA
      • On-going QA

Summative assurance as part of long term QA to establish a system to report, check & fix any faults found in future

EIB

qa for digitisation5
QA for Digitisation
  • QA Focus promotesa multi-level approach to digitisation:
      • Strategic QA
      • Workflow QA
      • Sign-off QA
      • On-going QA

High Quality Product

EIB

qa for digitisation6
QA for Digitisation
  • …If you don’t capture quality…
  • you can never deliver quality…

EIB

qa for web sites2
QA For Web Sites
  • The issues:
    • The Web is the main delivery mechanism for projects and services
    • There is an increasing awareness of the importance of:
      • Accessibility
      • Use of new devices (PDAs, WAP, e-books, …)
      • Repurposing of Web content (e.g. archiving)
    • Technologies such as XSLT will support repurposing … of valid XML resources
  • But:
    • Invalid HTML is the norm
    • Many authoring tools produce poor HTML
    • Authors aren’t aware of the problems

MG

guidelines
Guidelines
  • We often say:
    • Open standards are important
    • HTML, XML, XHTML, CSS, … are important
  • but fail to explain why and how
  • JISC’s QA Focus is addressing such concerns by:
    • Documenting example of best practices in which projects can share their implementation successes (and difficulties they experienced)
    • Provide brief advice in specific aspects of the standards and best practices
    • Surveying its communities to highlight best practices and areas in which improvements can be made
    • Demonstrating use of testing tools and procedures

MG

standards best practices
Standards & Best Practices
  • Standards For Web:
    • Use compliant HTML / XHTML
    • Use CSS
    • Support WAI accessibility guidelines
  • Best Practices For Web:
    • Ensure Web resources can are suitable for reuse and repurposing
    • Where proprietary formats need to be used, flag them and use in most open way

MG

surveying the community
Surveying The Community
  • Surveys of project Web sites have been carried out in order to:
    • Obtain a profile for the community
    • Identify examples of best practices
    • Identify areas in which further advice is needed
  • Surveys included:
    • HTML & CSS compliance  Accessibility
    • 404 error pages  HTTP headers
    • Repurposing resources

MG

survey philosophy
Survey Philosophy
  • The surveys made use of freely-available Web-based tools:
    • Methodology is open
    • No software needs to be installed locally (apart from Web browser)
    • Findings can be reproduced
    • Latest results can be obtained by clicking on link to testing service
  • The surveys typically examined project entry points and not entire Web site as:
    • This page has the highest profile
    • The aim is to validate a methodology which can be deployed by projects themselves, not to test every page on behalf of the projects

MG

survey findings
Survey Findings
  • Initial set of findings available from <http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/qa-focus/surveys/web-10-2002/>

MG

providing motivation
Providing Motivation
  • We have found evidence of failure to comply with HTML standards
  • There is a need to explain why compliance is important (and avoid the “it’s OK in my browser” argument) and to provide motivation for projects to update their tools, authoring procedures, etc.
  • A further set of surveys look at repurposing of the project Web sites:
    • Availability of Web sites in the Internet Archive
    • Ease of making Web sites available on a PDA
    • Transformation of embedded metadata

MG

repurposing resources

A small number of Web sites were not in the Internet Archive due to the robots.txt file.

We will need to provide advice in this area.

A small number of Web sites could not be transformed.

Analysis of HTTP headers indicated that this was due to incorrect HTTP headers.

We will need to provide advice in this area.

Repurposing Resources
  • We examined the Web sites to see if they were available in the Internet Archive and could be transformed into a format for viewing on a PDA

MG

transforming resources

VirtualXHTMLresource

Tidy (online)

XSLT extraction of DC

Visualisation & validation of DC

DC in RDFformat

RDF Validator

Transforming Resources
  • Project entry points were processed by several online transformation services in order to validate and visualise embedded Dublin Core metadata

HTMLresource

Original page, containing embedded DC metadata

MG

providing advice
Providing Advice
  • We have:
    • Survey project Web sites and identified areas of lack of compliance with standards and best practices
    • Demonstrated examples of the potential importance of compliance for repurposing resources
  • In addition we need to provide:
    • Brief focussed advice on the standards
    • Information on how to monitor compliance
    • Case studies on solutions deployed by projects themselves
    • Guidance on dealing with implementation difficulties and what to do when strict compliance is difficult to achieve

MG

documentation advice
Documentation: Advice
  • Advisory briefing documents are being produced
  • These are:
    • Brief, focussed documents
    • Informed by findings of the surveys

MG

documentation case studies
Documentation: Case Studies
  • Case Studies are being commissioned
  • These are:
    • Written by projects themselves
    • Describe the solution adopted to a particular problem
    • Include details of lessons learnt – not just a press release!
next steps
Next Steps
  • Extended Coverage

We will be moving on from Web and digitisation to include other areas including:

      • Metadata  Multimedia
      • Software development  Deployment into service
  • Moving On From Automated Testing

The initial work made use of automated testing tools:

      • Can be used remotely  Objective
      • Applicable across all projects

We have started work on QA procedures in areas which are not suitable for automated checking

MG

limitations
Limitations
  • There are a number of limitations to the work we have carried out so far:
    • Project Web sites have different purposes (information about the project; communications with project partners; project deliverables themselves; etc.)
    • Projects have different levels of funding, resources, expertise, etc.
    • Projects are at different stages of development (and some have finished)
  • The surveys are intended to demonstrate a methodology which projects can use for themselves

MG

self assessment toolkit
Self Assessment Toolkit
  • Further Deliverables
  • We will be developing a self-assessment toolkit for projects to use, by individual projects or across project clusters
  • The toolkit will consist of:
    • Examples of QA procedures
    • Documented examples of use of testing tools
    • Self-assessment questionnaires
    • Advice on standards and best practices
    • Case studies
    • FAQs

MG

questions
Questions
  • Any questions?

MG