The Noguchi Museum website address is: www.noguchi.org. This is a nice, short, succinct url for the museum homepage.
www.noguchi.org as accessed by various web browsersEdit
Chrome - could accomplish task of loading website, although I do not posses enough working knowledge with Chrome to be able to tell how large or how small in pixels the screen would let me shrink and expand it before horizontal scrolling became necesary. Could also enlarge and shrink text using the Ctrl+ and Ctrl- keystrokes.
Firefox - slightly longer loading time for the website with Firefox than with Chrome. The webpage did not shrink down automatically with resizing of the browser screen. I could also easily manipulate the font size (concurrent with the entire webpage size so the ratio remained constant for images and text) using the Ctrl+ and Ctrl- buttons. Interestingly, the images contained within the Java script of the page did seem to take a slightly longer amount of time in loading than when using the Safari browser.
Windows Internet Explorer - Much like Firefox and Chrome, the website loaded with no issues aside from the fact that horizontal scrolling (and a bit of vertical as well) were needed as I was using a smaller sized browser window size. Again, text and images both enlarged and shrank with use of the aforementioned Ctrl+ and Ctrl- buttons.
Safari - As I work with an Apple computer at home, I also checked the Noguchi Museum website with Safari, the pre-bundled broswer software available with all Apple computers. The loading time of the Java scripted images on the page was slightly faster than with Firefox on an Apple computer. Again, the Ctrl+ and Ctrl- keystrokes produced quickly shriking and expanding screen views.Lynx - working with the Lynx browser illuminated many of the issues and assets of the www.noguchi.org website. For instance, upon entering the homepage url and browsing only one cookie needed to be enabled and the page information loaded quite quickly. The homepage was three pages long in the lynx's small browser window. The five alternating images which form the main portion of the welcome page for the Noguchi Museum were clearly tagged with alt tag information. Some playing around with the up and down arrows revealed that the first and second links were a link to the same site under two different names - Noguchi Museum and Home. The next available link brought a user to the Museum - and within that I was able to rudementarily browse the collection.
I did try to perform a search for a single object (the same object I created an ehive.com database entry for) that information was retrieved. And I also wanted to see how well the Catalogue Raisone worked with the Lynx browser and found I could log in using my account which I had generated May 15th using the interface with the page on Firefox.
JAWS I would have really appreciated a chance to work with the JAWS reader program however my Apple computers do not support the software.
Noguchi Museum website on an iPhone and iPadI am also lucky enough to be able to test the Noguchi Museum website on both an iPhone and an iPad (original version). While the website is accessible, it is perhaps not the most easily readable or usable site on the extremely small screen size of the iPhone. I am not adverse to using websites on the iPhone, however, the Noguchi Museum website with its large images and extremely small sidebar were difficult to view without enlarging the screen. This enlargement then leads to much scrolling to and fro to really navigate the site. While I understand not every site can be designed to work with maximum effect on the even the newest smartphones, I did feel a simple CSS wrap to be used with Android or OIS on iPhone would have made the user experience just that much more practical.
Regarding the iPad - The load times for the website were significantly slower on the iPad than any desktop, laptop or mobile device used previously. However, the significantly larger screen size did make the perusal of the website just that much more enjoyable when compared to the iPhone experience. While neither the Apple iPhone nor the iPad provided a perfect web browsing experience with the Noguchi Museum homepage - neither were totally unable to handle the website and its content. Perhaps there were issues with the size of the information and the load times but such is the price of portability!
Once I delved into the source code - even with my extreme lack of expertise in this area - the issues apparent with some slow load times, necessity of lots of scrolling and the like became more apparent. The Noguchi Museum website is a mix of XHTML, HTML, CSS, Drupal and Java scripts.
Within the <head> of the page alone there are 28 lines of CSS scripts, 15 lines of Java and one long globular line of Drupal code. By running the Noguchi Museum homepage through the W3C Semantic data extractor, I was aiming to learn what if any semantic data the extensive head of the document provided. All I learned from this procedure was the name of the webpage "Home|Noguchi Museum" and the language - English. On a strange gander, I decided to run the Japanese language version of the main page through the Semantic data extractor as well. Oddly the results I received were the following - 日本語|Noguchi Museum and the language - English!
The body of the website is a long and according to the W3C validator exceedingly correct string of HTML code. At the tail end of the long string of "div's" there are a few interesting tidbits of information. The Noguchi Museum website employs Google Analytics and also embeds something in Java script called Addthis.
Using the w3c simple HTML I discovered quite shockingly in fact, the Noguchi Museum website had no errors in their HTMl code! This was a very pleasant surprise. However, having made a study of the Noguchi Museum's mainpage source code, I knew that HTML was not the only coding language employed. Far from it in fact - both CSS and Java are employed extensively. Therefor I opted to check the site using the W3C CSS code validator as well. While I had been really elated with the lack of errors in the HTML code, I was quickly brought down to the reality of our online world of the early 21st century when the CSS validator produced nothing short of 35 errors and 188 warnings.
I was unable to find a free and online means to check the Java scripts employed in the Noguchi Museum website. However, judging from the issues the Wayback Machine seems to have with saving the images of the current iteration of the museum website, I wonder what other issues and glitches screen readers and accessibility software programs may meet when dealing with large scale, slow load time images being provided to the user through a Java scripted portion of the source code.
Other web based testsEdit
We were also encouraged to run our chosen museum's websites through another testing website called the Webpagetest. This test provided a slew of data some of which I am probably never going to understand. However amidst all the graphs and charts a clearer picture of the particular peculiarities of the Noguchi Museum website began to come into focus.
According to the Webpagetester the Noguchi Museum homepage took a total of 26 seconds to load all the content and get all the various add-on applications such as Google Analytics and the Addthis widgets running. 26 seconds is a fairly long load time. While the Addthis and Google functions were the last and final processes to load the images of the homepage (there are four that rotate through if one stays on the page for over 10 seconds) began loading between six and eight seconds and were not fully loaded until 24 seconds after I clicked to navigate to the page. In the world of hyper fast attention spans might this be too long?
Also according to the Webpagetester site another issue with the Noguchi Museum website might be the lack of compressed data materials on the site. The Noguchi Museum website received three failing grades from the tester site for the categories First Byte Time, Compressed Images and Compressed Text. The tester provides a comprehensive list of the data by kilobytes one could save if there were to compress images and text elements of the site. For the Noguchi Museum site there is a potential to save just short of 2,000 kilobytes of data to be transmitted simply through the compression of images and text.
While we had browsed our museum websites in class using the Lynx web browsing program I was also interested in how the highly refined design of the Noguchi Museum website held up to more rigorous scrutiny through online and free accessibility testing programs. The first I employed was A-Prompt from the University of Toronto. The site was proven to be missing some important alt-tags on the main page and also the test resulted in a potential 189 problems mostly related to lack of contrast between text and background images.
Another online tool for checking the accessibility of a website is the Wave or Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool. According to the test of the Noguchi Museum website run through their portal much the same information as was found through the A-prompt site was reiterated. Again, a lack of alt-tags was apparent and the low contrast between the grey of the site font and the white background was flagged as difficult for those with poor vision to navigate.
When I began this course, one of the reasons I chose the Noguchi Museum for the focus of my project was because of my perception of the clean and cool beauty of the museum website. While I still find the site attractive in a design sense and also feel the synchronistic relationship between the design of the website and the visitor experience to the museum - I do perceive a number of accessibility and usability issues or glitches that may hinder use of the site by a number of potential online or in person visitors.
In particular - the lack of alt-tags which are so easy to add to any website really seemed appalling to me. In addition, the earliest version of the website with its dark blue background and white and grey texts provided a much greater contrast between background and text thus making the site easier for individuals with vision problems. Also with the extensive use of CSS one could simply place another stylesheet into the code for smaller viewing platforms.Wave - Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool