The objective of this report is to improve the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Compliance Review Panel (CRP) website and increase its value as the primary source of information on the compliance review process of ADB-assisted projects.
Usability testing was conducted on the CRP website to identify areas for improvements. This report contains the results of our tests and our recommendations to improve the website.
The purpose of the CRP website is to provide information on the compliance review process of ADB and activities related to the function of the CRP. Since ADB provides assistance to many projects across Asia and the Pacific, the CRP website must serve visitors of different nationality, language, culture, and level of experience in using the Internet.
People who would like to file requests for compliance reviews or are interested to know more about the review process will rely heavily on the CRP website. However, the lack of an easy-to-use navigation and proper organization of content will lead many visitors to abandon the website.
When visitors abandon the CRP website, they will rely on other methods to get the information they need, such as calling or emailing the CRP Secretariat, or using postal mail. Not only does the CRP website not meet its objective, but the situation will also introduce inefficiencies. For example, the CRP Secretariat will be answering the same questions again and again.
Publishing a lot of information in the CRP website is not enough. The published information must be structured and presented in a way that is easy for visitors to read using an Internet browser. The CRP website must also consider that many of its visitors are not native English speakers. Otherwise, visitors may perceive the CRP website as lacking the right information on the compliance review process, although all the needed information is in fact already available online.
The ADB Compliance Review Panel needs to address the following concerns to improve the usability of the CRP website.
- Purpose. The website does not highlight its main purpose in the homepage, whether it is to facilitate filing of requests or to give information on the members of the CRP.
- Readability. The titles, instructions, and text in the pages do not have clear headings, and are poorly written.
- Navigation. The navigation links are not obvious and do not provide feedback; some links even use annoying techniques such as pop-up menus.
- Search. The search feature does not tell the visitors what documents are relevant, and it does not allow filtering, sorting, and searching within results.
- Web Standards Compliance. The web pages do not conform to the standards set by the World Wide Web Consortium or W3C (www.w3c.org), and some parts do not display properly in standards-compliant web browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Opera.
- Focus on the primary purpose of the website in the homepage. Other text and links that are secondary must be moved to other pages.
- Redesign the website content, taking into account that web visitors generally browse and scan. Thus, prefer writing that is concise and easy to scan.
- Use proper color contrast in the design of navigation menus, headings, and links.
- Be consistent in the use of colors, flow of navigation elements, presentation of documents, and style of writing.
- Provide ample feedback on search results.
- Support standards-compliant web browsers such as Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Opera.
We have included a detailed list of recommendations at the latter part of this report. Fortunately, most of the recommendations that bring the highest return can be done without extensive technical expertise. (The exception is the improvements in the search feature.)