Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Analyze Your Site's Content For Quality, Privacy And Accessibility Issues

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Watchfire Bobby, WebQA 2.0, WebXM (Enterprise)
= must have
Software (Win & Mac)
FREE to try - from USD $99

Communication officers, information management staff and digital librarians of today's small and large organizations who use the Internet to disseminate critical information need to be aware of the laws governing universal access to technology.

Once familiar with these guidelines, they like you need the skills that will enable them to ascertain whether or not the Web pages they create are effectively easy to access and use.
They also need to be able to make certain the Web pages they create meet the same criteria.

In the US, the Rules and Guidelines Section 255 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act requires that telecommunication services and products are made to be "accessible". Section 508, the 1998 amendment of the Rehabilitation Act,
( requires that US federal agencies make their electronic and information technology accessible to all people, including those with disabilities. Over there even an independent federal agency has been created to oversee and ensure accessibility. Called the Access Board
(, the agency was originally created to address the information access responsibilities of US federal agencies.

Though you may not be in a US federal agency the accessibility and usability issues identified and the set of guidelines issued by such agencies should motivate and awaken all online publishers and Web communicators to take seriously and at heart the issues that plague most Web site easy access, privacy and access to all types of users.

Watchfire is a company that provides three highly effective and reliable software tools to test, analyse, and report on Web site's content for quality, privacy and accessibility issues.

The three software tools, Bobby, WebQA, WebXM that can support the individual, the small and medium sized organizations, and also large enterprise needs.

WebQA is a website quality testing tool designed for small, medium, and departmental websites. WebQA provides full support to quality assurance tasks by scanning and analyzing Web content and producing detailed reports. These in turn are devised to help content authors, interface and interaction designers as well as organizational quality assurance units to precisely and systematically pinpoint content issues and usability/accessibility problems plaguing their Web sites. interaction defects.

WebQA 2.0, which takes on Watchfire Linkbot technology adds support for accessibility testing by integrating the features of Bobby™, the most popular and well established accessibility testing tool that has been recently acquired by this company.

Using the features available in WebQA, you can test your Web site compliance with Section 508 or the W3C's WCAG accessibility standards. In addition to testing content, WebQA can also help you edit and optimize your site's metadata where this can provide greater accessibility, indexing, and access through Intranet search engines or content management systems.

WebQA scans your site checking for 40 specific Web site problems. It then generates detailed reports on the following topics:

a) Content defects (e.g.: broken links)
b) Usability issues
c) Search engine effectiveness
d) Site inventory
e) Web accessibility (Section 508, etc.)
f) Site maintenance
g) Corporate standards

WebQA analyzes and reports on content issues like broken links, slow pages, searchability and accessibility problems.

WebQA also helps ensure that your site's web transactions are working as designed, by recording and testing scripts that replicate a user's typical behavior on your Web site.

A comparison table of WebQA, WebXM and Bobby quality assurance and accessibility testing tools is available at: default.asp

Interface screenshots of WebQA can be viewed at: webqa-ui.asp

WebQA System Requirements:
Windows® 2000, NT Workstation 4.0 SP6a+SRP, 98, 98 SE, XP
Microsoft® IE 5.5 or Microsoft® IE 6

A free evaluation copy can be downloaded by filling out a registration form at: webqadownload.aspx

Warning. The download is a 35 MB file.

WebQA costs USD $ 1,495

Bobby which starts at USD $99 can be freely evaluated online at: bobby-eval.asp

WebXM 2.0 is the enterprise-level Web site Management solution that automates website testing and analysis. It generates detailed reports covering content quality, privacy, and accessibility issues on large enterprise websites. WebXM can be deployed in a centralized service bureau configuration, or as a decentralized hosted service. WebXM is completely Web-based.

WebXM comprises three modules and three optional plug-ins. The modules, QualityXM, PrivacyXM, and AccessibilityXM, help manage qualty assurance, privacy and usability/accessibility issues on large organizations' Web sites.

Two additional plug-ins, TrafficXM and FeedbackXM, help integrate and provide additional context to the quality, privacy, and accessibility reports that WebXM generates by correlating user traffic patterns and report-generated information. Finally a Content Management System plug-in lets organizations seamlessly integrate WebXM controls into their content management workflow.

WebXM seamlessly integrates into a content management system, enabling WebXM to automatically analyze content as it passes through a publishing workflow. The tool integrates with systems from Documentum, Microsoft, Vignette, and Interwoven. WebXM can place its own "approval" or "reject" vote on any document showing up in the workflow and automatically placing it back into the approval path enriched with specific recommendations and advice for revisions.

WebXM integrates the accessibility testing capabilities of Watchfire's standalone Web site accessibility tool, Bobby™, with a module called AccessibilityXM. This module scans for over 90 comprehensive accessibility checks and helps you to test for your level of compliance with government standards, once again including the US government's Section 508, and the W3C's Website Content Accessibility Guidelines.

WebXM Software Development Kit (SDK) provides the user with a documented API and a Web Service interface so that WebXM functionality can be integrated into other applications in your web environment, such as Content Management Systems.

An interesting screenshot of the WebXM Dashboard is accessible at: dashboard-pop.asp

Detailed information about WebXM can be found at: webxm.asp

An effective and comprehensive animated Flash demo is also accessible at: webxm-demo.asp

A good comparison table of the three products and their respective features is accessible at: default.asp

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posted by Robin Good on Tuesday, December 31 2002, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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