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4 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 5 μήνες)

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Kathie Popadin

LS 502: Research Methods

Dr. D. Wallace

November 5, 2013










Best Practices for Web Design and Accessibility for Small Public Libraries:

Methodology and Data Analysis Plan












kpopadin
method

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METHODOLOGY

This

e
xploratory
study
will
examine a sample of small public library Web
sites in order to understand the current state of
compliance with

standards of
design
, usability,

and accessibility.
The means by which this research will be
undertaken will be the
assessment of
level of
adherence to a
checklist, comprised of
a
set of guidelines for compliance with design
, usability,

and accessibility standards
,
in tandem with
the results
given

when thes
e Web sites are run through the
World
Wide Web Consortium (
W3C
)

Markup Validation Service

and the WAVE


Web
Accessibility Evaluation Tool

(WebAIM 2009a; W3C 2009a)
.

Th
e Markup

Validation Service

free online tool is capable of testing a single page or multiple
pages of a Web site

for adherence to
markup and scripting language standards
.

The
WAVE tool
“shows the original web page with embedded icons and indicators that
reveal th
e accessibility of that page”
(WebAIM 2009a)
.

The

checklist

will be
developed based on the W
eb Content Accessibility G
uidelines

(WCAG) 2.0
, the
Section 508 guidelines, and other
guidelines developed by practitioners in the field

and intended to interpret the WCAG
,

such as the checklist from the non
-
profit
WebAIM organization

(
Section 508: 5
08 Law n.d.
; WebAIM 2009b; W3C 2009b)
.
The instrument adopted for this research,
a
checklist of guidelines (see
Table 1)

with
true/present and false/
absent

(or simple pass/fail)

elements
,

is
de
termined to
be

the most appropriate technique for collecting the necessary data

in tandem with
the
Markup Validation Service

tool

and the WAVE tool

(
both
also used
on

a

pass/fail
basis
)
.

Th
e

checklist
will provide the means to determine the
total
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“Design, Usability, and Accessibility” (DUA) score of the Web site, and
is designed
to be adm
inistered by a single evaluator.

A score of
more than
seventy percent on
the DUA checklist has been arbitrarily determined by the researcher to indicate a
“passin
g” grade.

The results of the study will provide baseline data regarding the extent of
compliance

to standards of design and accessibility

of libraries in the sample and
will further understanding of the extent to which compliance to these standards is
an issue for small public libraries. It will also provide a

sound basis for further
research in this area

and wi
ll provide small public libr
aries with a
simple and
effective
“toolkit” for assessing their own Web sites and for addressing accessibility
and design issues.

Using a checklist based on guidelines in tandem with
the

free
validation
and evaluation
tool
s

is a valuable way to identify d
esign, usability, and
accessibility issues in Web sites.

POPULATION AND SAMPL
E

For the purposes of this study, a small public library will be defined as
a
single
-
district service outlet

that

caters to a legal service area population of 5,000 to
9,999.
Acc
ording to the Institute of Museum and Library Services
Public Libraries
Survey: Fiscal Year 2007

(2009),
there are 9,214 public libraries in the United
States
. Dat
a collected for this survey show that when broken down by size of
population served, 16.1 percent serve a legal service area with a population of
5
,000
to
9
,999


the
second
largest subgroup
by percentage
in this
breakdown

(Henderson
et al. 2009)
.

In addition to determining the level of compliance to Web design and
kpopadin
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accessibility standards, this study is also
being undertaken

to provide a resource for
small public libraries with limited financial and

personnel resources to overcome
issues of compliance. Therefore, the population of interest is small public libraries
(as defined above) with limited annual expenditures

and limited
numbers

of staff
.
The 16.1 percent of public libraries in the United
States serving populations of
5,000 to 9,999 have an annual average operating revenue of $403,834

(Henderson et
al. 2009, 85)
.
To further refine the population of intere
st, only single
-
district service
outlets with an annual operating revenue of less than $400,000 will be considered.

Of the 9,214 public libraries in the United States, the largest percentage (
22.3
percent) are operating with between 2 and 4.99 full
-
time
-
e
quivalent (FTE) staff
(Henderson et al. 2009, 78)
. The population of interest can therefore be further
narrowed to include only those single
-
district service outlets
that

employ less than
five FTE staff.

Using the American Library Directory online (ALD on the Web),
a filtered
search
was undertaken by the researcher

to find public libraries in the United
States
that

serve populations between 5,000 and 9,999
,
that

have

an annual income
of less than $400,000, and
that

have less than 5 FTE staff
(Information Today

n.d.
)
.
The resulting
dataset

of
92

libraries will provide the sampling frame.

The appropriate sample size for
this

population
is 76
(Powell and Connaway
2004, 105)
.
However, given the constraints of the study (single researcher operating
with a limited budget
), and the type of study (exploratory) the researcher has
elected to limit the sample size to
25.


kpopadin
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The dataset resulting from the filtered search of the ALD on the Web is
sorted in alphabetical order by library name.

Systematic sampling will be employed
to select the sample, with every
3rd

element from the list
selected,
starting from a
randomly chosen point

and moving through the list in a circular fashion as needed

until 25 elements have been selected
.


KEY TERMINOLOGY

AND DEFINITIONS


For the purposes

of this study, the terms used are defined as follows:

Accessibility
:
The provision of (Web) content
that

is perceivable, operable,
understandable, and robust
(W3C 2008)
.

Design

(in reference to Web sites)
:
The cohesive and effective combination of
the
elements of
aesthetic presentation with the functionality of usability

(Beaird 2007)
.

Direct
-
service outlet
:

an outlet
that

provides service directly to the public”
(Henderson et al. 2009, 4)
.

FTE

staff
:
The number of full time equivalent staff positions the library has,
calculated on the
basis of 40 hours per week
.


Legal service area
: “the geographic area for which a public library has

been
established to offer services and from which (or on behalf of which)

the library
derives revenue, plus any areas served under contract for which

the library is the
primary service provider”
(Henderson et al. 2009, 21)
.

Public library
: “
an entity that is established under state enabling laws or
regulations

to serve

a community, district, or region, and that provides at least the
following: (1) an organized

collection of printed or other library materials, or a
kpopadin
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combination thereof; (2) paid staff; (3) an

established schedule in which services of
the staff are availab
le to the public; (4) the facilities

necessary to support such a
collection, staff, and schedule; and (5) that is supported in whole or in

part with
public funds”
(Henderson
et al. 2009, 2)
.

Usability
:
“the extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve
specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of
use”
(
UsabilityNet 2006)
.

DATA GATHERING PLAN

The researcher will
conduct the study by
us
ing

the
DUA
checklist
(see Table
1)

to
gather data regarding compliance with standards

for each of the elements of
the sample.
Each item on the list will be
recorded

as present/true (scored as 1) or
absent/false (scored as 0).

Items
that

are not applicable will be designated
as such
(N/A).

The data
gathered from the scored checklist for each sample

will
then
be
entered
in
to

an Excel spreadsheet
.

The
Markup Validat
ion Service tool and the WAVE tool will be used as an
adjunct to the checklist as further indications of robustness and compliance. The
results provided by this tool are more applicable and useful to the Web site owners
and developers than to the research
er and are suggested for
the purposes of
the
value added
by the data gained as a result.




kpopadin
method

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TABLE
1

Checklist for measuring “Design, Usability, and Accessibility” (DUA) Score

Library Name:
_____________________________________________

Library Web Site URL: ______________________________________

Date Observed: ___________________________ Time: ___________

Success
Criteria

Recommendations

Present/True

(scored as 1)

Absent/False

(scored as 0)

N/A

Guideline 1: Alternatives

1.1

Text alternatives for non
-
text content

(images, audio, video, etc.)




1.2

Audio alternatives for video content




1.3

Alternatives offered for non
-
HTML or
non
-
XHTML content (e.g. PDF files,
PowerPoint presentations)




Guideline 2: Navigability

2.1

Web page has descriptive
&

informative
page title




2.2

Menu/main links are positioned on left
side or top of screen




2.3

Links are distinguishable from
surrounding text




2.4

Navigation order of links and
menu
items

is logical & intuitive




2.5

Links make sense out of context (purpose
of link can be determined from the link
text)




2.6

Access to multiple means of navigation
provided (e.g. table of contents, site map)




2.7

Site does not contain “broken”
li湫s




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3.3

Page is readable and functional in a
variety of browser window sizes




3.4

Page content is
organized into clearly
related groupings




3.5

High contrast between text and
background colors




3.6

Relevance of graphics (not purely
decorative)




3.7

Main body of text in sentence case




3.8

Use of clear san serif type font (e.g.
Arial,
Helvetica)




3.9

Consistent use of font within page




3.10

Page background is light color




3.11

Page uses high
-
quality writing, good
grammar, & no spelling errors




Guideline 4: Keyboard Accessibility

4.1

Page functionality when using keyboard
navigation




4.2

All page elements are accessible when
using keyboard navigation




Guideline 5: Tolerance


5.1

Instructions do not rely on shape, size, or
visual location




5.2

Instructions do not rely upon sound




5.3

No page content flashes more

than 3
times per second




5.4

Language is jargon free




5.5

Site does not contain marquee (moving)
text




5.6

Choice of language offered (if
appropriate)




Guideline 6: User Interaction

6.1

User interaction does not cause
substantial change to
the page (e.g. pop
-
up window, new browser window)
without warning




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6.2

Interactive elements display sufficient
labels, cues, & instructions




6.3

Input error (client
-
side or server
-
side)
prompts suggestions for help in plain
language




6.4

Link
provided
to contact information




6.5

Inclusion of search function with input
box at least 27 characters wide




6.6

Control features offered for animation,
audio, and/or video




Guideline 7: Currency

7.1

Page is up to date (displays recent
revision
date)





DATA ANALYSIS PLAN

Statistical analysis of the data will be conducted using the formulas and tools
built in to the Excel spreadsheet program and other appropriate quantitative tools
as necessary. In order to gain an early impression of level of

compliance, the
researcher will
undertake

the following analysis of the data:

The number of criteria out of the total applicable to the sample element will be
determined

(criteria receiving an N/A score will be discounted)

(the ‘
duapossible

score)
, then the
number of

applicable criteria receiving a
present/
true response will
be totaled
(the ‘
dua
present
’)
. The

passinggrade


will be determined as follows:

duapossible

x .70 =
passinggrade

(the number of criteria that
must be
scored present/true

in order for the site to

pass

)

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The
duapresent

result

must be higher than the
passinggrade

for
an

element of the
sample

to be deemed DUA compliant
. The researcher will then determine the
total
number of
DUA compliant

Web sites out of the sample to determine an overall
percentage of compliance.

ASSUMPTIONS AND LIMI
TATIONS

For this study, the researcher will examine only the main (or home) page of
the library Web sites in the sample in order to focus the analysis on the

first contact
a patron
has

with the site. The assumption is made that if the main page of the
library’s Web site is found to be compliant with standards, then the entire site will
be compliant. Limitations to this assumption are that different individua
ls
may

be
responsible for different pages and that different types of content presented on
different pages
may

affect compliance. A further limitation is the dynamic nature
of Web pages.

The W3C validation tool being used in tandem with the DUA checklist
will
return a negative result if only one feature fails the accessibility test. Therefore a
site
that

is primarily accessible
may

be co
nsidered to be

failing regardless of its
DUA score.

There are several possible limitations due to the logistics of this

study. As it
is being undertaken by a single researcher with limited budget, the size of the
sample is not as large as is recommended. The use of a single researcher also
introduces the possibility of bias. However, given the limitations of this study
(budget and resources), the advantages

and usefulness

are considered to outweigh
kpopadin
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the disadvantages. Bias will be reduced in this study by using questions that
require a present/true (1) or absent/false (0) answer, thus reducing the possibility of
introduc
ing subjective values by the researcher. The researcher has attempted to
avoid the inclusion of questions requiring aesthetic

or value

judgment of Web page
elements in the DUA checklist in order to reduce the possibility of bias.

Data entry
error is
another possibility, both in the initial collection of data for each element on
the DUA checklist, and when entering the data into the Excel spreadsheet.















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REFERENCES

Beaird, Jason. 2007.
The Principles of Beautiful Web Design
. Collingwood,
Australia: SitePoint.


Henderson, E., K. Miller, T. Craig, S. Dorinski, M. Freeman, N. Isaac, J. Keng,

L.
McKenzie,
P. O’Shea, C. Ramsey, and C. Sheckells. 2009.
Public Libraries
Survey: Fiscal Year 2007
. Washington: Institute of Museum and Library
Services.

http://harverster.census.gov/imls/pubs/Publications/pls2007.pdf
(accessed

July 23, 2009).


Information Today.
American
l
ibrary
d
irectory
. n.d.
http://www.americanlibrarydirectory.com/default.asp (accessed
July 24,
2009).


Powell, Ronald R., and L
ynn Silipigni Connaway. 2004.
Basic Research Methods for
Librarians
. 4
th

ed. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.


Section 508: 508 Law
. n.d.

http://www.section508.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=


Content&ID=3 (accessed

July 23, 2009).


UsabilityNet. 2006.
UsabilityNet: International standards
. http://


www.usabilitynet.org/tools/r_international.htm#9241
-
11 (accessed July
26,
2009).


W3C. 2008.
Introduction to understanding WCAG 2.0
. http://www.w3.org/TR/


UNDERSTANDING
-
WCAG20/intro.html#introduction
-
fourpri
ncs
-
head
(accessed July

26, 2009).



. 2009a.
The W3C Markup Validation Service
. http://validator.w3.org/ (accessed
July
25, 2009).



. 2009b.
World Wide Web Consortium: Web standards
. http://www.w3.org/

(accessed July 2
3
, 2009).


WebAIM. 2009a.
WAVE


W
eb Accessibility Evaluation Tool
.
http://wave.webaim.org/ (accessed
July 25, 2009).




. 2009b.
WebAIM: WebAIM’s WCAG 2.0 checklist
. http://webaim.org/standards/


Wcag/checklist/ (
accessed July 25, 2009).