Review – Mad-UK
Web page: http://www.mad-uk.org/
Accessed on Tuesday, 1st August 2012 @ about 1:20pm GMT+1
Mad UK (Make a Difference) is a social enterprise and community interest company aimed at young people. It helps them making a difference in their life and that of their community.
Finding the web page
The address itself is a bit unfortunate as the word “mad” is very common and there is a dash people may too easily forget about. The www part is optional.
If you know the site but don’t want to guess the address, it is possible to find it on search engines if you use the keywords “mad uk”; in such case you are likely to find it at the top of the non-sponsored result list. If you use the keyword “mad” alone, you have to go through many other result before you find Mad UK, if you find it at all.
The page loads pretty fast, except for the flash video picture near the bottom left, which is not too slow either. It has a fixed size layout, not allowing the best usage of screen estate.
Use of technology
Simple technology is used for some flash content and to change style of elements in the page when you hover them.
No special abuse of useless and often harming technology has been found there.
The name itself is an abbreviation, but it is spelt out right away in the logo at the top of the home page. Hardly any other abbreviations can be found and even some phrases that are normally written as acronyms in many web sites, here are written in their extended form. This means the web-masters have been paying attention at the accessibility of their web site.
No major issues there, although adding some internal links could reduce chances of some areas of the site being overlooked.
Fitness for purpose
The web site communicates correctly what Mad UK does and uses a suitable language for the audience.
Absent. It might be missed in case some areas of the web site are overlooked and information cannot be easily found.
None available. This can make it difficult to find certain sections of the website, particularly taking into account some issues explained later on.
The page looks nice. Colours and styles are suitable for the audience; contrast is good enough at the least and, in some cases, beyond most expectations.
This is one of the few web site reviewed where you can tell some serious graphic design plan has been developed. This suits the web site purpose quite well and while on a different web site we may have preferred more effort going into other aspects, here it seems appropriate to take some special care about design and communication strategies.
No overlaps have been found on the page. This means all content is clearly displayed as intended and there is no content hidden by other page elements.
Drop down lists
There were some and they may be easily missed. Lacking a site map and a search feature, you may have to rely on spotting the presence of drop down menus to find something you hope is there somewhere. Having no other way to reach some of the pages in the drop down lists means people who cannot use them or people who use devices not compatible will miss various parts of the site.
There was no explicit accessibility statement; this means some accessibility programs may not offer users this page to browse. Although it is not always the case, this may also mean accessibility is not given much priority on page development.
Whether the lack of such statement is an actual flaw is arguable; however, it never hurts to add one, particularly as this site may pose a bit more issues than the ones reviewed so far (without being too bad, though).
There is no explicit validation button on the page. This means it is harder to verify the page is compliant with coding standards. A page that is not compliant may show correctly on the devices and browsers it has been tested on, but may present nasty surprises elsewhere.
Using W3C validator, the page showed as XHTML 1.0 Transitional with iso-8859-1 character set: this may be a bit obsolete, now. The validation returned errors and warnings, showing lack of compliance.
This is not uncommon, even in simple pages like this one. No major errors have been detected, but full compliance would not hurt and it would be worth the effort.