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In order to help digital users accomplish their tasks, focus on the guidelines below to create user-centered, accessible content.


Usability and user experience

User experience is the collective outcome of design, navigation, functionality, ability to satisfy expectations, and much more. Usability is the extent to which a product can be used by intended users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction.

All contributors must uphold user experience and usability optimization as primary objectives for their content and should follow a user-centered design methodology that focuses on users through the planning, design, and development stages of projects.

User-centric pages contain:

  • key information related to the topic within the page/section;
  • the means for users to accomplish their tasks quickly and efficiently;
  • content that is presented in a user-centric, not an organization-centric, way;
  • information that is structured in a logical and straightforward manner;
  • promotions, if applicable, that are presented only after users completed their tasks.

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Digital accessibility is the ease with which people with disabilities (physical, cognitive, or technological) can understand, navigate, interact with, and contribute to the digital platform. content should, at a minimum, comply with Section 508 (29 U.S.C. ‘ 794d) and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, Level A. contributors are encouraged to deliver content at higher accessibility levels (Level AA or Level AAA) whenever possible.


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Usability evaluation and testing requirements

All new or significantly redesigned sections or pages must be evaluated for usability prior to launch. Significant redesigns include IA or navigation changes, new functionality or features, and major content rewrites.

  • Evaluation may be done through a usability review/heuristic evaluation by a digital usability expert or through usability testing or may be conducted by the IEEE Digital Innovations team. Evaluation should not be conducted by a vendor who was intricately involved in development.
  • contributors must demonstrate that the findings of the test or expert review were considered and that critical issues were addressed within six months, unless another timeline is agreed upon based on the complexity or severity of the issues.
  • When testing is used, it should be performed via in–person or remote methods with a minimum of six users that represent the target audience.
    - IEEE employees or volunteers may also be usability-test participants but will typically not count toward the testing requirement.

At a minimum, usability testing or expert reviews should encompass the following.

  • Key functionality
  • Page design, clarity, and organization
  • Orientation to site and perceived context within
  • Core user tasks according to goals of the page or section

Ongoing evaluation/testing should also be part of the monitoring process.


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