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Follow the guidelines below to create user-centered, accessible content for the IEEE Digital Presence that will help your users more easily accomplish their online tasks.


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 IEEE digital sites must uphold user experience and usability optimization as primary objectives throughout the life cycles of their sites and should follow a user-centered design methodology that focuses on users through the planning, design, and development stages of projects.


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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.

All IEEE sites must, at a minimum, comply with Section 508 (29 U.S.C. ‘ 794d) and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, Level A. If complete compliance has not yet been reached, you must have a project plan to obtain completion and be actively working to complete it within a reasonable amount of time.

IEEE digital publishers 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 IEEE sites must be evaluated for usability prior to launch. Significant redesigns include reskins, top level IA changes, major new functionality or features, global template or navigation updates, etc.

  • Evaluation may be done through a usability review/heuristic evaluation by a digital usability expert, or through usability testing. Evaluation should not be conducted by a vendor who was intricately involved in site development. However, evaluation or testing may be conducted by the Digital Innovations Team, if available.
  • Site managers must demonstrate that the findings of the test or expert review were considered and that critical issues were addressed within 6 months, unless another timeline is agreed upon based on the complexity or severity of the issues.
  • Testing should be performed via in–person or remote methods with a minimum of 6 users that represent the target audience.
    - IEEE employees or volunteers may be test participant but will typically not count toward the requirement.

For guidance on when and what to test, refer to the following resources:

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

  • Key site functionality
  • Home page design, clarity, and organization
  • Orientation to site and perceived context within IEEE digital presence
  • Core user tasks according to goals of the site

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



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