WebSAT Evaluation Rules

WebSAT uses a set of heuristic rules to evaluate the use of tags in web page design. Note: These rules do not form a comprehensive set of guidelines. However, they are a sample set of typical rules to demonstrate the feasibility (and limitations) of an automatic checker. The rules are grouped into six categories as follows (click on a category's link for a more extensive discussion on that category):

Accessibility
It is important that all users, regardless of physical abilities be able to view public websites. Differences in web browsers and hardware capabilities might also limit access for some viewers. WebSAT uses the following rules to test for accessibility:

Form Use
If forms are used on a website, care should be taken so that users are able to easily fill in information, erase information, and submit information. WebSAT uses the following rules to test for how forms have been implemented:

Performance
Users are impatient. It is important that they can get to the necessary information in your website quickly. In this section, we check that all has been done to speed up performance so that long delays do not affect the usability of your site. WebSAT uses the following rules to test for performance:

Maintainability
Users want timely information and links that really connect to other information. This is not just an issue of maintenance. It is also a design issue. In this section, we check that your site can be easily maintained. WebSAT uses the following rules to test for maintainability:

Navigation
Most websites do not come with a map. Users have to create their own model of the site as they search for information in that site. It is important that links be descriptive so that users have some idea of what to expect if they follow a given link and how to get back to pages they previously visited. WebSAT uses the following rules to test for navigation:

Readability
It is important that users can easily read the important information on your web page without distractions. While graphics and animation add interest, too much of a good thing can quickly become distracting. Information on your web pages should be arranged so that users do not have to scroll many times to see the full text. As with printed text, the density of information is also a consideration in ease of reading. WebSAT uses the following rules to test for readability:


Version 2.0
Page last modified: 15 May 2002
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)