New Version of Guidelines for Swedish Public Sector Web Sites

Verva, the Swedish Administrative Development Agency has released an updated version of the guidelines for Swedish public sector web sites. The document is used by public organizations when procuring new web sites as well as by developers as an aid in the development process.

No english translation is available yet, but I know there will be a summary in english in the beginning of 2007. In the meantime, here is an overview of the guidelines:

  1. Efficient service – use technology as a tool to optimize your organization processes. Use standards for information exchange.
  2. The development process – integrate usability in the development process and don’t detail requirements upfront.
  3. Web site standards – use technical standards as well as standards for structure, navigation and design. Code for a markup standard rather than targeting specific browsers.
  4. Web site content and services – minimum requirements for web site content. Provide basic information in sign language and minority languages.
  5. Keeping the web site alive and up to date – write in a clear and simple lanugage (for a summary see my previous article “Working with content…”), monitor traffic statistics and learn user behaviour.
  6. Considerations for mobile terminals – ensure the web site works resonably in a mobile terminal. Provide a stylesheet for handheld terminals. Use the W3C Mobile web best practices for more information.
  7. Content management systems – guidelines for choosing a CMS: should handle web standards, should not force the editor to use a specific web browser, technology independent URLs, should have integrated support for accessibility checks.
  8. Assistive technologies for web browsing – introduction to assistive devices and ways users may access the web site.

If you are interested in knowing more about a particular chapter, post a comment below and I will try to expand the translation in that particular area. I have contributed as a co-author to some of the guidelines in this version as well as the previous.

Comments

  1. Steve Williams says at 2006-11-17 02:11:

    I’m intruiged to know what is meant by point 4: Provide basic information in sign language and minority languages?

    I’m also a little puzzled by comment 7 too: CMS… should have integrated support for accessibility checks.

    Do they mean for the developer or the content authors?

    Thanks for providing a basic translation of the main points :)

  2. Peter Krantz says at 2006-11-17 12:11:

    Steve: The guidelines relating to sign language and minority languages say that you should:

    • …provide short movie clips with basic information interpreted into sign language on your web site. See The National Board of Housing for an example.
    • …create pages with basic information in the most common minority languages. In Sweden these include English, Arabic, Farsi, Finnish and Bosnian. See sverige.se (the top menu).

    Regarding accessibility checks it relates to content authors. A typical scenario is that you edit something in a WYSIWYG-like editor. If you forget to add an alt-text for an inserted image the tool should warn you.

    Most of the requirements are based on recommendations in the W3C Authoring Tools Accessibility Guidelines.

  3. Steve Williams says at 2006-11-17 19:11:

    Thanks Peter,

    I figured the accessibility checks were meant for the content authors, but didn’t want to assume.

    http://www.signcommunity.org.uk/index.php immediately came to mind when I read checkpoint 4. The housing board site referenced requires the visitor to read and understand the text links to find the signed content, so I’m still a little confused as to its purpose – I thought it was to help those that can sign but struggle to read, have I misunderstood?

  4. Peter Krantz says at 2006-11-18 12:11:

    Steve: The Sign Community website was interesting to see. I will definitely have a closer look.

    I think most web sites that provide a subset of the information in sign language require basic reading capabilities. Work is in progress to standardize icons to make this information easier to find. What I know is that it isn’t uncommon to at least have basic reading skills if you are deaf. That may vary between countries (I guess it depends heaviliy on what the educational system is able to provide for you if you are deaf since birth).

  5. leonard says at 2006-12-28 14:12:

    I am very interested in the total guideline (in English…) Can you drop me a line when that translation will be available? Thnx in advance!

  6. شات صوتي says at 2010-01-29 00:01:

    I am very interested in the total guideline (in English…) Can you drop me a line when that translation will be available? Thnx in advance!

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Peter Krantz, peter.krantz@giraffe.gmail.com (remove giraffe).