Main Menu Site

Evaluation of the Giant Crystal Project


Crystal Award Evaluation

Site Title: The Giant Crystal Project Site
Site URL:
Description: A site devoted to the documentation and presentation of giant crystals and extraordinary large mineral aggregates
Email: Click here
Name: Thomas Krassmann

Accessibility and User-friendliness [2 points each]
2 - does not have right-click function disabled.
X - all link text sufficiently descriptive to make sense out of context.
X - all text sized only in relative terms such as %, or small, medium, etc.
2 - all essential elements, including text, have sufficient contrast with background to be clearly visible viewed in black-and-white.
X - all text formatted using CSS rather than HTML.
X - all images have appropriate ALT tags. Decorative images: alt=""
2 - no image-maps without alternative form of navigation.
2 - no essential function relies on Flash, unless non-Flash alternative provided.
2 - no essential function relies on Java, unless non-Java alternative provided.
X - no drop-down, rollover, or fly out menus, unless alternative provided.
2 - no essential function relies on audio, unless there is a visual alternative.
2 - no page interferes with functionality of standard browser controls.
2 - no automatic mouse-over links, unless there is a PROMINENT warning.
2 - no splash screen with Flash, Java, etc intro, unless "skip" function present.
2 - no more than two (2) automatic pop-up windows.
X - no horizontal scroll bar at 800x600 resolution.
2 - no page with misleading description or misleading keywords in META tags.
2 - all pages load some useful content quickly.
X - first page to open has clear indication of when site last updated.
X - some provision for contacting webmaster visible from every page.

Content [2 points each]
2 - more than one page of original content, not mainly or only copied materials.
2 - more than one page of "real" content. (does not include excternal links, guestbooks, anything else reliant on others' input/output.)
2 - no large areas of replicated content.
2 - no outdated content. (does not apply to archived materials marked as such.)
2 - no inaccurate or misleading content. (typographical errors and/or untrue or inaccurate statements.)
2 - no offensive language, including quotes. (defined as "could not be used on daytime television in the 1970s".)
X - no more than two errors of spelling and/or punctuation and/or grammar on any one page. (does not include intentional: humour/effect.)
2 - clarification of all technical terms, abbreviations, acronyms, etc. (does not apply to technical journals, educational courses, etc.)
2 - no page obviously still under construction. (does not apply to serialised stories, diaries, and similar items designed to be added to.)
2 - site has a clear purpose. (content has obvious unifying theme or connection.)

Navigation [2 points each]
2 - entrance to main site not difficult to find on splash screen.
2 - all main areas of site accessible directly from main or home page.
2 - all links, including within-page links, clearly named or titled.
2 - all links easy to locate and identify as such.
X - links to main areas in menu identical on all pages. (different on main page only and/or expanded/additional for sub-sections are OK.)
2 - internal navigation menu not obscured when pages open.
X - all internal links unbroken, and lead to correct page.
2 - all internal links open in same window and correct frame. (Pix linked from thumbs and opening in new with prior indication are OK.)
2 - no more than 20% of external links lead to pages which no longer exist.
X - all external links open in new window. (Parts of site hosted on a different server not regarded as external links.)

Aesthetics [1 point each]
1 - pages consistent in design.
1 - no unneccessary changes of font style/face/colour/size. (does not include different fonts used to indicate divisions of content.)
1 - no large areas of text center-aligned. (any page containing only a poem or poems not counted.)
1 - pages well laid out, content separated/divided appropriately, neither "crowded" nor with more white space than content in 800x600 resolution.
1 - no large areas of text set in all-capitals or in a "fancy" font.
1 - no broken images. (does not include images retrieved from another site.)
1 - no images whose only apparent purpose is to fill up empty space, having no obvious relevance to content of page.
1 - no obtrusive animations/foreground fx/background fx interfering with viewing.
1 - does not make major alterations to cursor icons. (no objection to some alteration, provided basic shapes remain similar.)
1 - no visible HTML or other coding, including graphical link borders.

Ethics/Legality [2 points each]
2 - complies with rules of copyright, having permissions and giving credit where relevant.
2 - innocent of Bandwidth Piracy.
X - No pass code - application form correctly and fully completed, including correct pass code!
X - either collects no Personal Information, or has a Privacy Statement.
2 - has defined and declared Code of Ethics if it includes either an Award Program or commercial services.

Your Score: 72 points - Crystal Award 3rd
(90 or more points: Crystal Award 1st // between 75 and 89 points: Crystal Award 2nd // between 60 and 74 points: Crystal Award 3rd)

Comments: It is always a pleasure to view a site which is a true labour of love. I found this site to be well laid out, quick to load, clearly presented, and very informative. The use of FONT tags with absolute sizes can cause problems for some visually-impaired users. For visitors using some specialised browsers which can extract a list of links separate from the main content of the page, many of the text links do not have sufficient text included in the link to make it clear where the link is going. Although some 'decorative' images carry the appropriate null ALT tag, some ALT tags carry a description which might be better included within a TITLE tag, and some images have no ALT tags. The drop-down menus cannot be used in at least one browser (Opera), and no alternative is presented other than using the site search function. I realise that the webmaster is not a native speaker of english, and I have seen sites by native english speakers where the standard of spelling and grammar is much lower, but there are some pages on this site with a number of errors, and ethics compel me to regretfully abide by my criterion. The site might be easier to navigate if links to the main sections were included on each page; it can be time-consuming to have to repeatedly return to the main page in order to navigate a site. Some internal links return a 404 error, notably on the 'Updates & News' page. (Possibly these have not been modified after a site update?) The site includes both a guestbook and a forum, but I could find no privacy statement. I truly regret not being able to give this site a higher award at this time, especially as it only just fell short of enough points for a Crystal 2nd, and I would greatly enjoy re-evaluating it at a later date.

The Crystal Award: