Website Development

In this document, we give some guidelines for website development. Please note that these guidelines may not apply to your particular project. Nonetheless, most projects are likely to benefit from a user-centered design (UCD) as explained by Pavelin et al. PLoS Comput Biol 8(7): e1002554

When do I need to develop a website?

In general, a website is needed if your project requires a web interface to a program, database or information on a web server. Here are a couple of scenarios:

  • Your program needs a graphical interface.
  • You release a new version of a web-based program that is in use.
  • You want to provide information on the internet.

What are the criteria for developing a good website?

In general, the website should be easily accessible and have a functional design. The latter depends on who will use your website. Different types of users may have very different needs. You should keep this in mind when you start designing your website. Userfocus provides a model that might be helpful.

In all cases your website should be checked for:

  • Clarity
    • Is the website clear and easy to understand?
    • Is the website divided in comprehensible sections?
    • Did the developer add unnecessary items?
    • Can the website be revised to make it clearer?
  • Correctness
    • Does the website provide what it claims to do?
    • Is the information shown correct?
  • Reliability and Robustness
    • Is the code fault-tolerant? Is it error-tolerant?
    • Will it handle abnormal conditions or malformed input?
    • Does it fail gracefully if it encounters an unexpected condition?
  • Maintainability
    • Is the functionality of the website documented properly?
    • All server components should be documented using a documentation system.
    • The documentation should contain instructions about the installation, configuration and maintenance of the website (and server hardware, if applicable).
  • Security
    • Is the website vulnerable to unauthorized access or malicious use or modification?
  • Scalability
    • Could the server hardware be a bottleneck that prevents the system from growing to accommodate increased load, data, users or input?
  • Efficiency
    • Does the code make efficient use of memory, CPU cycles, bandwidth or other system resources?
    • Can it be optimized?
  • Reusability
    • Could the web interface be reused in other applications?
    • Can it be made more general?

How do I evaluate web site usability?

Userfocus also provides guidelines that may help you or your users to evaluate your web site.

Last modified 6 years ago Last modified on Oct 7, 2012 8:13:46 PM