The best in design, content, and navigation. These are
extremely rare and should be comprehensive, offer large
amounts of information, and be easy to use. They
often offer multimedia, Flash, downloads, ecommerce, or
other extras. These extras should add to the
quality of the site, not just be there for show (all
glitter and no substance.)
site, not the business or topic. A prominent
company may still have a poorly designed site.
Quality site, rich in content, easy access to
information, professional in design and organization.
Pertinent to topic, original content, functional,
informative, up-to-date if applicable, current links,
links to other acceptable sites (no porn, etc.), clearly
stated purpose that matches content.
If the sites
doesn't fit any of the above categories, don't list
it. Our goal is not to list every site but to list
Things to consider:
Content (how current is it, how unique, how much
information does it offer?)
A site about New York
City during the 1800s could still be interesting and
usable even if it hasn't been updated since
1999. A site about the latest advancements in
the treatment of cancer would be missing large amounts
of information if it hadn't been updated for that
amount of time. Sites that are frequently
updated should usually get a higher rating than ones
that appear to have been abandoned.
Usability (browser friendly, navigation, are the
graphics/Flash/whatever worth it or do they just slow
down load time?)
Users with broadband
access are still in the minority. Take into
consideration the time it takes a site to load when
you are deciding on a rating. If the site has a
lot of graphics, is there a text only option?
Are the links to the subpages easy to find or do you
have to mouse over images the index page to search
them out? Don't rate the sites based on what
fancy new tricks the Web designer knows, rate it based
on how easy it would be for someone to use.
Do you spend the first
few minutes at the site closing pop-up windows?
If there are more than a couple of pop-ups, don't give
the site a "must visit" rating. Better
yet, unless the information is unique and can't be
found anywhere else, don't even list the
Appearance (does it look good or like it was designed
by a monkey on crack? Use of colors, layout, "under
Sites that have a
common theme from page to page (in the layout, use of
background, text font) look well put together and
should be rated higher than ones that look as though
each page was designed by a different person.
If several of the links
go to pages that are "under construction",
wait to add the site when it is finished.
Things that will lower
a rating include: blink tags, text in multiple colors,
text that is hard to read because of the size or
color, unintentional overlapping of text and/or
graphics, or anything that makes you just want to
click on something to get you away from the page as
quickly as possible. If it uses more than one of
these, don't bother listing the site.