Latest News

Over the years we have expanded the range of tests Sitemorse offers, highlighted important news and ranked top websites according to their Sitemorse result.

  • CGI beats Capita to Edinburgh deal (extract) - 30 Jul 2015

    Georgina O'Toole, TechMarketView LLP, 29 July 2015

    The CGI team will be getting ready to celebrate next Monday. The City of Edinburgh Council is set to approve CGI as its preferred bidder for a new transformational ICT contract worth 186m over seven years. According to the Council, an additional 46m of services will be delivered “at no extra cost”. The Council expects to save a minimum of 45m over the contract term. This will contribute to its targeted 107m reduction in costs over the next five years. The contract forms part of the next phase of the Council’s ICT & Digital (ICT&D) Transformation Programme, which is focused on channel shift or in the words of the council “digital by desire”. There is potential for the contract to be used by over 50 other public sector organisations.

    Agilisys logoBT has been Edinburgh’s main IT services partner, under a 150m Smart City Partnership, since 2001. Having been extended, the deal is due to expire at the end of March 2016. Early in the competition for the replacement contract, BT was one of eight companies shortlisted. The others were CGI, Agilisys, Atos, Capita, HP, Lockheed Martin, and Serco.

    The contract will have been hard fought; there are very few substantial contracts up for grabs in local government currently. We understand that Agilisys withdrew from the competition early on and subsequently decided to partner CGI. CGI, with Agilisys, was up against Capita at the final hurdle. Partners will be important on the deal; CGI has committed to 25% of the contract value going to SMEs, supporting the local economy. Moreover, it will create 221 new jobs and 60 modern apprenticeships in the city. The contract will be a big boost to CGI’s business in local government; it currently has a tiny revenue footprint. From that perspective, the partnership with Agilisys made perfect sense, allowing CGI to combine Agilisys’ significant local government and channel shift experience with its major ICT transformation programme experience. We’re sure we will hear more detail after Monday.

    Full Article is at http://www.techmarketview.com/ukhotviews/archive/2015/07/29/cgi-beats-capita-to-edinburgh-deal

  • Splicing digital into Bayer’s DNA: an interview - 27 Jul 2015

    Worthwhile read from Computing / Bayer's CDO - Jessica Federer.

    Digital has to really been seen as one of the key capabilities of and within every organization, not something that is 'out there' as something we do....


    [exact]

    digital governance - improving online operations

    The concept of "going digital" probably seems simple to any organisation founded in the age of the internet.

    From day one, you have the most up-to-date technology available at your fingertips and, in all likelihood, you've built the company's infrastructure using outsourced storage (and possibly also compute and platform) services from the likes of Amazon, Google or Microsoft.

    Your chosen staff will have been brought in because they're good at getting the most from the latest digital developments and are flexible enough to innovate and adapt to transformation.

    Full Article
    http://www.computing.co.uk/ctg/interview/2418752/splicing-digital-into-bayer-s-dna-an-interview-with-cdo-jessica-federer

  • Digital Governance, isn't it time it reached the boardroom? - 15 Jul 2015

    Millions of pounds continue to be spent by organisations on their websites but the reality is that much of it is wasted as basic failings behind the scenes in terms of quality and compliance are hampering performance and alienating customers - Digital Governance, is it time it reached the boardroom?

    The problem is that senior executives have to date largely relied on web providers to deliver their online presence while relying on the same suppliers to monitor and measure their own performance. Herein lays the rub.

    Not only is it riddled with conflict, but evidence points to the fact that if could be in someone else’s best interest to keep executives in the dark about website failings.

    Boards in all sectors of the economy need to ask the relevant questions of their internal and external web providers to ensure they are not exposed to problems. Simply being told that everything is okay isn’t sufficient.

    There needs to be a clear independent demonstration that 'Digital Governance' standards are being continually assessed and met, risks are being considered and the brand is protected – without any of the fluff or technical jargon only they understand.

    Everyone who uses the internet will have been frustrated by website failings but in many cases senior executives are continually told by their web suppliers that these problems are ‘not on our site’. Since Sitemorse continues to find numerous issues on most sites then so will any other visitor.

    The upside is that such issues are easy to address. Research from Sitemorse of the Top UK Public 100 companies found the key reason for website failures was simply a result of pages not being tested properly. Sixty two per cent of companies stated this as the key reason followed by 26% suggesting it was down to third-party failings and 12% stating it was unavoidable internal failures.

    However, the typical senior executive is not keen to engage in Digital Governance discussions, about problems related to the internet and technology, has led to them being exposed to receiving poor service from their providers. When executives do ask questions internally there is often a lack of clarity about who is responsible for the organisation’s web activities – whether it is internal individuals or the external agency that built the site.

    The reality is that Sitemorse has run many website testing surveys on the UK and global retail sectors, the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 indices, and UK and US government sites over a period of 10 years and has continued to find the most basic errors occurring on the majority of these websites. The myriad of problems encountered include the likes of draft versions of annual reports being accidentally posted online, investor relations email contacts not working, presentations missing, and claims about compliance that are simply wrong.

    Unfortunately this scenario is not unusual and there are many hundreds of other companies in the same position. Whereas a few websites operate without any function, performance and compliance problems and are well managed, at the other end of the scale there are many other examples where the scale of the problems need addressing.

    Senior management teams are being let down badly from the insufficient levels of transparency between their companies and their web providers. The real issue is that the job of measuring and monitoring websites’ is given directly to the suppliers themselves so they are effectively judging and critiquing their own work. This is clearly a conflict of interest - is this where indepedant assessment and reporting on Digital Governance becomes a clear need?

    While it is not recommended that the chief executive should check every web page, there has to be compliance undertaken that is independent and which continually validates and monitors websites to a sufficiently robust standard that it can stand up to an aggressive defence from the Digital providers and their attempts to sometimes mystify executives with complex jargon / technical details.

    Organisations have KPIs for most aspects of their businesses that enable management to make accurate assessments but there are no such standards in place for measuring the basic operation of the websites in most corporations.

    This has to change because it is simply unacceptable for businesses to continue to rely or entrust such an increasingly valuable medium as the internet to an external supplier because inevitably it may not be in the interests of this third-party to be as thorough as they should be. And it is inevitably the retailer and their customers that suffer most from this unfortunate scenario.

  • What is 'Digital governance'? - 07 Jul 2015

    Digital governance is a framework for establishing understanding, accountability, roles, and decision-making authority for an organization's digital presence. This covers its websites, mobile sites, social channels, and any other Internet and Web-enabled products and services (your digital landscape).

    Digital governance should also include electronic publications (the PDFs / PPT etc hosted on yours and other sites) and also include within the framework and ultimately and publishing standards and governance methodology are the emails (marketing prominently).

    When considering the breadth of 'Digital governance' its important to consider everything, anything and anywhere - managing content across the entire digital landscape, from the sites / pages you own, through to those commissioned by you, or managed on your behalf - along with any elements used across partners, agents and resellers.

    Finally as part of Digital governance the importance of continually monitoring competitors should not be overlooked - what elements of your brand, trade marks and or IP are being used, perhaps hidden to improve search rankings or is there content which could be considered as passing off or even deflationary?


    About Sitemorse(r)
    Sitemorse offers a range of services to fulfil growing Digital governance requirements - from an initial discovery of what makes up your web presence, ongoing audits, publishing integration and continuous content assessment. Our prioritisation intelligence considers consumption and content value versus the likely impact of issues, protecting your investment and ensuring you remain agile.

    We are focused on helping you to consistently offer the best possible Customer Experience – continually optimised, delivered on Brand and within required regulations, guidelines and standards.


    Digital governance

    Links
    http://www.retailinsider.com/2015/06/digital-wildfire-takes-hold.html
    http://www.siteworx.com/news/whitepapers/digital-governance-critical-to-success/
    http://www.ey.com/GL/en/Services/Advisory/EY-why-digital-governance-matters
    http://www.slideshare.net/AcquiaInc/how-to-improve-your-digital-governance
    http://www.sitemorse.com/news/2015/6/30/digital-wildfire-takes-hold-retail-insider/

  • Top 250 Global Retail Websites Ranking - Q2 2015 - 01 Jul 2015

    Italian retailers among best performing global retail websites in Q2

    INDEX available at https://www.worldretailcongress.com/

    Two Italian retailers feature among the top 20 world's best performing retail websites for the first time as they score highly in the table of the Top 250 global sites reviewed exclusively for the World Retail Congress by Sitemorse in Q2 2015.

    Esselunga moves up 40 places into fifth spot with a score of 5.86 out of 10 and Gruppo Pam is a new entry, entering the table in a very creditable 11th place with a score of 5.29. This is an impressive performance for the country, whose retailers have not been positioned in the upper echelon before.

    Digital Governance in Retail

    They join many other new names in the top 20 including the new leader Sweden-based drinks retailer Systembolaget that scored an impressive 7.96 to move it up 96 places. It scored well ahead of second-placed retailer UKbased B&Q, with its 7.02 – which pushed it 48 places up the table compared with its place in Q1.

    Third-placed Otto Group holds its position although its score of 6.54 is an improvement on the 5.82 achieved in Q1. All the top three retailers scored higher than the leader in Q1, Grupo Jeronimo Martins, whose 6.28 was good enough to top the table. It drops 11 places to 12th spot this quarter.

    The scores for the Top 250 table are created by Sitemorse (www.sitemorse.com) using its automated software that reads and reviews the first 125 pages of each retailer’s site and places them in a ranked table based on user experience (UX), governance, risk and compliance (GRC), and search capability (SEO) - the key for Digital Governance

    Another newcomer in the top 20 is Canadian retailer Jim Pattison Group that was one of the highest climbers in Q2 with a move up 104 places to 17th spot. It was beaten only by Finiper (another Italian retailer doing well) that advanced 127 places to 35th spot. Another major mover KF Gruppen moved up 102 places into 30th spot.

    While Italy had an impressive quarter there was less success for German retailers as the top 20 contained only three merchants from the country compared with four in Q2 and five in previous quarters. It’s a similar story with the US, with only four placed in the top 20 this time whereas it had as many as seven listed in Q3 2014.

    Japan has four merchants in the top 20 versus three in Q1 but where it falls down is in the increasing number of its retailers finding themselves in the bottom 10 names on the list. There are six Japan-based companies now in this grouping compared with three in Q1. The two newcomers to this group of the weakest performers are Takashimaya Company, which slipped six places to 211th spot, and Isetan that fell 68 places to languish in 212th spot.

    It is not amongst the biggest fallers this month as a batch of retailers declined by much further including some big US names such as Bed Bath and Beyond, which fell 99 places, The Gap is down 86 places and Abercrombie & Fitch down 85. Time to consider reviewing publishing process and whats slipping through the 'Digital Governance' net?

    Although Sitemorse tested the top 250 global retailers, the final table contains only 218 names because companies were excluded from the process if they used assistive technology such as JavaScript, which breaks the general “rules of accessibility” of internet sites, according to Sitemorse.

  • Digital Wildfire takes hold (Retail Insider) - 30 Jun 2015

    Over the years the extent of the digital landscape of retailers has grown like ‘digital wildfire’ and can to some extent be viewed as a real threat to their future capabilities. For retail this presents an emerging and what is becoming a significant problem.

    Digital_Governance_and_digital_wildfire

    Retailers must have an understanding of what exactly constitutes their entire digital landscape, this being far more than a list of domains or the approved social pages, - without clarity of 'what is online' Digital Governance and efficient management isn't a relativity.

    Most companies have a difficulty knowing what they have out there in terms of their digital assets. The case of HMV losing control of its social media channels to some disgruntled employees when it made redundancies has been well documented – page wasn’t known about and the basic rules were not applied.

    And there was the recent case of a QR code being used by Heinz on its ketchup bottles that led customers to a porn site. The registration of the URL had lapsed and reassigned to the adult content site and Heinz had not kept a record of this online asset.

    The reality for most retailers is that they have had over 10 years of various people coming in and out of their e-commerce and IT departments that have all undertaken a variety of projects for an array of different people. Contractors, changing agencies, organisations the retailer has bought, and cloud service providers all muddy the water and make visibility of digital assets all the more tougher for retailers to get a firm and clear handle on.

    The result is that they have ended up with a ‘digital bucket’ that holds various websites, analytics providers’ solutions, and content management systems etcetera. There is no over-arching view of this spaghetti-load of assets - you could be paying for services no longer needed, opening yourself to additional risk and reducing competitive advantage - Digital Governance doesn't have to remove agility, it can improve digital efficiency.

    According to Sitemorse, research has found that retailers have no knowledge of an astonishing 41% of their digital properties – this is a serious worry. The company has also found that when it undertakes landscape mapping for retailers it identifies things like social media pages, mobile apps, web domains, and online promotional offers that the business knows absolutely nothing about.

    Even in regulated industries firms do not have a full inventory of what they operate so it is not surprising that in the world of retail there is even more of a problem that pervades the sector.

    Until retailers accept there is an issue of digital wildfire then it is not going to be extinguished anytime soon. The problem is only going to get worse - understanding what's online, where it is and who owns it should be considered the first stage of effective Digital Governance.

    Glynn Davis, editor, Retail Insider

  • 2015 Q2/Global Top 250 Retailers : web benchmark : Finiper s.p.a rises 127 - 29 Jun 2015

    Top site this quarter with an Index of 7.96 is Systembolaget http://www.systembolaget.se/

    Screenshot of Systembolaget

    The next top five sites are listed below:
    2nd B&Q
    3rd Otto Group
    4th Metro Group DE
    5th Esselunga S.p.A.
    6th Edion Corporation

    The site that demonstrated the greatest improvement was Finiper s.p.a rising 127 places to rank 35 (Index of 4.25).

    The next five most improved sites are listed below:
    Rising 104, Jim Pattison Group
    Rising 102, KF Gruppen
    Rising 96, Systembolaget
    Rising 93, Big Lots
    Rising 86, Harris Teeter

    The reviewing and subsequent benchmarking of the sites was completed on 29th June, in all we carried out 382,733,455 checks - testing function, checking compliance and measuring performance - reviewing the page content, code and delivery infrastructure. Functionally B&Q was top, The Game Group had the fastest response time with SuperValu reporting the best HTML 'code quality'.

    The top sites for accessibility were:
    1st Systembolaget
    2nd Lotte Shopping
    3rd Michaels Stores
    4th Inditex S.A
    5th Defense Commissary Agency

    The full results and access to the Sitemorse INDEX, 2015 Q2/Global 250 Retailers is available at: http://www.sitemorse.com/rt/1124.

    Sitemorse INDEX

    HOW? Using our software we look at each site individually, mapping out every combination of every one of the top 125 pages and complete around 1,200 tests, checks and measures across User Experience (UX), Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) and Search Capability (SEO). Against the results, our benchmarking methodology is applied to provided a ranked table - the results are then published as the "Global Top 250 Retailers" INDEX.

    WHY? The quarterly INDEX Website Review looks at major public and private sectors as the independent benchmark identifying how websites are performing, meeting compliance levels and satisfying their users. It's also a key indicator for website managers who, while always wanting to be at the top of their game, could be hampered by poor-performing suppliers, non-compliant legacy content or content management systems that often fail to spot errors affecting user experience.

    Our services provide you with true 'digital insight', ceaselessly monitoring your online content and pointing you to areas that could be potential problems for you, your clients, and your stakeholders.

    Needing no installation or involvement from your in-house IT teams, our services will run alongside your content management systems:

    - Helping make your customer journeys good ones, leaving your clients and online contacts wanting to come back.
    - Keeping you always ahead of the curve on the latest online legislation that could affect you.
    - Protecting your organisation and your web users from online threats.

    We offer a confidential internal 'company wide' website testing and benchmarking service - allowing you to review the position of all the sites in your organisation. Contact us to find out more.

  • Clothing and accessories websites enjoyed improved performances in Q2 '15 - UK Retail INDEX - 29 Jun 2015

    The top 20 best performing retail websites in Q2 included seven from the clothing and accessories category compared with five in Q1, according to the latest review of the UK's top 500 retail websites by Digital Governance specialist Sitemorse. By Glynn Davis

    Not only was the combined category strongly represented in terms of the number of retailers in the top 20, but six of these seven had moved up in the table this quarter, which maybe suggests an increased focus on online by the fashion sector.

    Certainly there has been plenty of activity in the category recently with Yoox and Net-A-Porter agreeing to merge and Farfetch completing a fundraising round to grow its global operation.

    The assessment and review of the 500 sites is undertaken by Sitemorse using automated Digital Governance software that, page-by-page reads the first 125 pages of each retailer’s sites to generate a ranked table based on checks to Quality, User Experience, Accessibility, Performance and SEO capability of each of the websites.

    Aquascutum delivered the greatest improvement this quarter as it moved up 128 places into 11th spot, with a score of 6.66 compared with 4.02 in Q1. It was followed by Courtesy Shoes that climbed 45 places to ninth spot, Racing Green up 14 places to fifth spot, and Miu Miu that ascended nine places to 15th spot. The other clothing and accessories retailers in the upper grouping were Jane Shelton in eighth spot and Diesel (London) in 16th spot.

    The combined category had a number of big jumpers this quarter alongside Aquascutum as Samuel Windsor moved up 158 places into 37th spot, Hawes & Curtis, was up 147 places to 42nd spot, and Thomas Pink, up 101 places to 124th spot.

    On a less positive note there were also some serious fallers in Q2, with MyVintage dropping a massive 393 places to hit bottom spot in the table, Officers Club fell 194 places to 384th spot, slater Menswear slid 313 places to 370th spot, and Shoes.co.uk drifted 160 places to 125th spot.

    The final ranked table for Q2 includes only 428 retailers because merchants were excluded for example; if they used assistive technology such as JavaScript, which breaks the general “rules of accessibility” of internet sites, according to Sitemorse. This represents an improvement on Q1 when a lesser 424 were included.

  • 2015 Q2/UK Central Government : web benchmark : British Council rises 110 - 22 Jun 2015

    Top site this quarter with an Index of 7.92 is The Pensions Regulator http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/

    Screenshot of The Pensions Regulator

    The next top five sites are listed below:
    2nd Office of Surveillance Commissioners
    3rd Met Office
    4th GOV.UK
    5th Nuclear Decommissioning Authority
    6th Serious Fraud Office (SFO)

    The site that demonstrated the greatest improvement was British Council rising 110 places to rank 42 (Index of 4.91).

    The next five most improved sites are listed below:
    Rising 103, Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (OFGEM)
    Rising 99, Legal Ombudsman
    Rising 98, Ordnance Survey
    Rising 84, Wallace Collection
    Rising 79, Department for Social Development

    The reviewing and subsequent benchmarking of the sites was completed on 22nd June, in all we carried out 160,127,695 checks - testing function, checking compliance and measuring performance - reviewing the page content, code and delivery infrastructure. Functionally Office of Surveillance Commissioners was top, Government Art Collection had the fastest response time with House of Lords Appointments Commission reporting the best HTML 'code quality'.

    The top sites for accessibility were:
    1st Office for Nuclear Regulation
    2nd Advisory Committee on Animal Feedstuffs
    3rd Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food
    4th Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals
    5th Northern Ireland Policing Board

    The full results and access to the Sitemorse INDEX, 2015 Q2/UK Central Gov. is available at: http://www.sitemorse.com/rt/1123.

    Sitemorse INDEX

    HOW? Using our software we look at each site individually, mapping out every combination of every one of the top 125 pages and complete around 1,200 tests, checks and measures across User Experience (UX), Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) and Search Capability (SEO). Against the results, our benchmarking methodology is applied to provided a ranked table - the results are then published as the "UK Central Government" INDEX.

    WHY? The quarterly INDEX Website Review looks at major public and private sectors as the independent benchmark identifying how websites are performing, meeting compliance levels and satisfying their users. It's also a key indicator for website managers who, while always wanting to be at the top of their game, could be hampered by poor-performing suppliers, non-compliant legacy content or content management systems that often fail to spot errors affecting user experience.

    Our services provide you with true 'digital insight', ceaselessly monitoring your online content and pointing you to areas that could be potential problems for you, your clients, and your stakeholders.

    Needing no installation or involvement from your in-house IT teams, our services will run alongside your content management systems:

    - Helping make your customer journeys good ones, leaving your clients and online contacts wanting to come back.
    - Keeping you always ahead of the curve on the latest online legislation that could affect you.
    - Protecting your organisation and your web users from online threats.

    We offer a confidential internal 'company wide' website testing and benchmarking service - allowing you to review the position of all the sites in your organisation. Contact us to find out more.

  • OFCOM / Tel. number regulation support. - 22 Jun 2015

    OFCOM regulation has been updated, relating to the use of non-geographical telephone numbers. Phone lines that can be used by customers to make inquiries / complaints after a sale must be charged at no more than the ‘basic rate’. The government’s guidance says this means not only no 09 numbers but also no 0845 or 0870 numbers even though these are commonly used by businesses as “local rate” numbers. These rules apply even to general inquiry lines if consumers for post-contract queries use these - an essential part of content (and Digital) Governance should be to ensure future publishing of such telephone numbers is challenged.

    OFCOM states “The changes will all come into place on the same day, 1 July 2015.”
    http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/simplifying-non-geo-no/

    To support clients Sitemorse understands and continually, comprehensively catalogues every element of every asset, on every page on every one of your digital properties (web, social and mobile) this includes the use of telephone numbers – not just on web pages but within PDF, Word, PowerPoint and Excel content, our automation significantly helping you to demonstrate your Digital Governance.

    We have a short video available to assist https://secure.sitemorse.com/video.html?v=telephone

    The staged approach offered on the coming pages could also be useful for completing any content remediation exercise – change of brand name, logo, product or service - for clients who have fully deployed our 3rd Generation service there should be limited if any manual searching, remediation reporting or on-going content assessment required.


    Consider a Staged Approach?

    2.1 Stage 1 – understand

    Initially the first task is to understand exactly what numbers you have across the differing page types (web, social, mobile – PDF and office docs).

    Using Sitemorse, this detail can be found within the Inventory section (Dashboard > Inventory> Tel numbers)

    Digital Governance - publishing tel numbers


    2.2 Stage 2 – prioritise

    Once the detail as to the actual use of numbers is available, next is to look at remediation. For clients that have deployed the 3rd Generation service this is can be automated with Sitemorse mapping the discovered numbers and based on consumption of the content, frequency of page update – organisation value of the page the order as to which updates should be applied is provided.


    2.3 Stage 2 – remediation

    Against a prioritised list (after all if no one reads a particular PDF there is limited value in updating the number here in the initial remediation round) each instance of number usage should be action, Sitemorse workflow automates the distribution process (if implemented) improving efficiency significantly – we also track time taken for individuals to complete the update.

    Example of the detailed offered to remediation staff – top image showing the details of the PDF containing the number, down to the specific page. The lower image showing the number highlighted on the web page.


    2.4 Stage 4 – Review

    This stage is to carry out a thorough audit to ensure remediation has been completed successfully (and no new content has been added). Against every allocated change, confirmation of the change (date actioned / by whom) would be beneficial to report, also against each page of content, confirmation of it being checked and remediated, where appropriate.


    2.5 Stage 5 – Update content standards

    In publishing going forward, content author / editors need to be aware of the regulatory change and ensure that no new content is published contained prohibited numbers – for Sitemorse clients, this is a simple update to the rules setup, where clients have integration to publishing (each and every page assessed as part of the publishing workflow (and Digital Governance) – independently by Sitemorse but within the CMS).

  • 2015 Q2/Global Life Sciences : web benchmark : Anika Therapeutics rises 187 - 19 Jun 2015

    Top site this quarter with an Index of 7.02 is Actelion http://www.actelion.com/

    Screenshot of Actelion

    The next top five sites are listed below:
    2nd Otsuka Pharmaceuticals Europe
    3rd Nissan Chemical
    4th Kyorin Holdings
    5th Anika Therapeutics
    6th Kaken Pharmaceutical

    The site that demonstrated the greatest improvement was Anika Therapeutics rising 187 places to rank 5 (Index of 6.76).

    The next five most improved sites are listed below:
    Rising 128, Bayer UK & Ireland
    Rising 82, Perrigo
    Rising 82, Elan
    Rising 80, Agennix
    Rising 76, Pierre Fabre

    The reviewing and subsequent benchmarking of the sites was completed on 19th June, in all we carried out 95,074,083 checks - testing function, checking compliance and measuring performance - reviewing the page content, code and delivery infrastructure. Functionally Otsuka Pharmaceuticals Europe was top, Merz UK had the fastest response time with Kyorin Holdings reporting the best HTML 'code quality'.

    The top sites for accessibility were:
    1st Apotex
    2nd Maxygen
    3rd Nova Nordisk UK
    4th Orion Pharma
    5th Lilly UK

    The full results and access to the Sitemorse INDEX, 2015 Q2/Global Life Sci. is available at: http://www.sitemorse.com/rt/1122.

    Sitemorse INDEX

    HOW? Using our software we look at each site individually, mapping out every combination of every one of the top 125 pages and complete around 1,200 tests, checks and measures across User Experience (UX), Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) and Search Capability (SEO). Against the results, our benchmarking methodology is applied to provided a ranked table - the results are then published as the "Global Life Sciences" INDEX.

    WHY? The quarterly INDEX Website Review looks at major public and private sectors as the independent benchmark identifying how websites are performing, meeting compliance levels and satisfying their users. It's also a key indicator for website managers who, while always wanting to be at the top of their game, could be hampered by poor-performing suppliers, non-compliant legacy content or content management systems that often fail to spot errors affecting user experience.

    Our services provide you with true 'digital insight', ceaselessly monitoring your online content and pointing you to areas that could be potential problems for you, your clients, and your stakeholders.

    Needing no installation or involvement from your in-house IT teams, our services will run alongside your content management systems:

    - Helping make your customer journeys good ones, leaving your clients and online contacts wanting to come back.
    - Keeping you always ahead of the curve on the latest online legislation that could affect you.
    - Protecting your organisation and your web users from online threats.

    We offer a confidential internal 'company wide' website testing and benchmarking service - allowing you to review the position of all the sites in your organisation. Contact us to find out more.

  • 2015 Q2/UK London-listed PLCs : web benchmark : Colt Technology Services Group Ltd rises 470 - 12 Jun 2015

    Top site this quarter with an Index of 9.80 is Marstons PLC http://www.marstons.co.uk/

    Screenshot of Marstons PLC

    The next top five sites are listed below:
    2nd St. Modwen Properties PLC
    3rd Pace PLC
    4th Wpp PLC
    5th Berkeley Group Holdings
    6th WH Smith PLC

    The site that demonstrated the greatest improvement was Colt Technology Services Group Ltd rising 470 places to rank 53 (Index of 5.97).

    The next five most improved sites are listed below:
    Rising 342, William Hill PLC
    Rising 328, Grafton Group PLC
    Rising 323, Braemar Shipping Services PLC
    Rising 267, Rolls-Royce Group PLC
    Rising 262, Paragon Group of Companies PLC

    The reviewing and subsequent benchmarking of the sites was completed on 12th June, in all we carried out 334,919,429 checks - testing function, checking compliance and measuring performance - reviewing the page content, code and delivery infrastructure. Functionally Marstons PLC was top, FirstGroup PLC had the fastest response time with Marstons PLC reporting the best HTML 'code quality'.

    The top sites for accessibility were:
    1st Marstons PLC
    2nd Land Securities Group PLC
    3rd Wpp PLC
    4th Imperial Tobacco Group PLC
    5th Berkeley Group Holdings

    The full results and access to the Sitemorse INDEX, 2015 Q2/London-listed PLCs is available at: http://www.sitemorse.com/rt/1118.

    Sitemorse INDEX

    HOW? Using our software we look at each site individually, mapping out every combination of every one of the top 125 pages and complete around 1,200 tests, checks and measures across User Experience (UX), Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) and Search Capability (SEO). Against the results, our benchmarking methodology is applied to provided a ranked table - the results are then published as the "UK London-listed PLCs" INDEX.

    WHY? The quarterly INDEX Website Review looks at major public and private sectors as the independent benchmark identifying how websites are performing, meeting compliance levels and satisfying their users. It's also a key indicator for website managers who, while always wanting to be at the top of their game, could be hampered by poor-performing suppliers, non-compliant legacy content or content management systems that often fail to spot errors affecting user experience.

    Our services provide you with true 'digital insight', ceaselessly monitoring your online content and pointing you to areas that could be potential problems for you, your clients, and your stakeholders.

    Needing no installation or involvement from your in-house IT teams, our services will run alongside your content management systems:

    - Helping make your customer journeys good ones, leaving your clients and online contacts wanting to come back.
    - Keeping you always ahead of the curve on the latest online legislation that could affect you.
    - Protecting your organisation and your web users from online threats.

    We offer a confidential internal 'company wide' website testing and benchmarking service - allowing you to review the position of all the sites in your organisation. Contact us to find out more.

  • 3 digital oversights that can damage your bottom line - Amanda Follit - 12 Jun 2015

    Three digital oversights that can damage your bottom line
    Extract - the full article is online at http://www.information-age.com

    There are a few common pitfalls most business make when it comes to managing their digital operations

    We live in a global digital economy where consumers can (and do) access over a billion websites, on an ever-widening variety of devices, and maintaining a range of digital outlets is the lifeblood of modern business. As such, the battleground for customers now firmly focuses on who can offer the best digital experience. Indeed, companies that deliver exceptional digital experiences outperform the stock market by a factor of three, while those who do not deliver have lost 34% of market value over the past five years.

    digital governance - improving online operations

    Yet while resources in terms of time, money and people have been allocated to help drive digital growth, the same cannot be said of digital operations management. However, efficient digital operation management directly supports effective digital customer experience.

    If overlooked, poor management of digital operations can, and will, lead to a myriad of costly issues, including putting reputations severely at risk. This happens when organisations fail to join the dots and see clear, actionable ways to implement digital operations management strategies.

    Encouragingly, we are beginning to see a shift in perspective starting to occur. Organisations are beginning to wake up to the reality that there is now a real need to fulfil the potential of digital operations ensuring they are efficient, deliberate in practice and measurable in order to maintain and improve customer experience.

    Developing a structured and actionable strategy for digital operations management is becoming a necessity. However, there are three key areas that are most commonly overlooked when implementing a digital operations programme. By ignoring these, companies risk losing their competitive edge.

    Misunderstanding digital governance

    Digital governance is a term that is increasingly being used in the marketplace. Yet while there is currently a lot of talk about this topic, very few people are adopting an approach that exploits the insights that can result from monitoring adherence and compliance to digital governance. Many organisations will have now put in place policies and guidelines and even tools to assist with digital governance, however if these are not monitored then the effort made has been redundant.

    For example, B2B sites are often the biggest channel for group level marketing. For any size of company, this is an outlet to be able to speak to journalists, customers, career finders and a multitude of different readers and it is essential that the material the user finds on the site is up to date and correct in order to maintain effectiveness and integrity as a leader within the industry that they are a part of.

    Digital governance tools can be used to provide the safety net for B2B and corporate sites in monitoring that the messages they are intending to convey are on brand and accurate according to guidelines.

    Even for the more digital governance aware organisations, data and report outputs from monitoring tools are often not understood or converted into actionable intelligence, leaving them with just a small fragment of the story.

    There is a common misconception that digital governance is merely about who has the authority to add and remove content to websites and social media accounts, as well as having a chain of command in place to ensure no unauthorised activity takes place. Though this is key, having a roadmap that clearly defines roles and responsibilities for managing a digital presence is only one point in the triangle of governance.

    Equally, if not more, important are monitoring that policies, standards and guidelines are being adhered to and then translating the resulting data combined with multi-sourced information into actionable and meaningful intelligence to continuously improve the digital presence and the management of the web estate.

    What is absolutely vital in terms of driving change and achieving competitive advantage is recognising that governance is not just about implementing a framework to control digital processes, but realising the value of the information that implementing tools to monitor this can produce, and creating governance analytics to embed into the process.

    http://www.information-age.com/it-management/risk-and-compliance/123459565/three-digital-oversights-can-damage-your-bottom-line

  • #cookies across digital are far from sweet - 10 Jun 2015

    These Cookies are Anything but Sweet - By Carl Weiss.

    [extract - full article at http://workingthewebtowin.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/these-cookies-are-anything-but-sweet.html]

    It used to be that cookies were a sweet treat. But not anymore. That’s because everyone from search engines and media conglomerates, to advertisers and cybercriminals have learned how to use these tasty online morsels to sweeten their deal – regardless of what it means to you. If you are tired of getting the “Betty Crocker Treatment” every time you surf the web, feast your eyes on today’s blog where we will show you how to start counting calories online.

    These Cookies Aren’t Baked by Elves
    Between that date and the year 2000, virtually nothing was done to reign in, much less curtail, the ever growing legions of cookies. Worst of all, these prying I’s worked in the background, all but unobserved as they gathered information from computers at a dizzying rate. Fast forward to the present date and like the supermarket shelves, there are currently scads of different cookie brands that currently abound.

    HTTP only cookie – These cookies can only be used when transmitted via HTTP (or HTTPS). These cookies are supported by the vast majority of web browsers.
    Persistent cookie – These little devils do not expire when you terminate your web browser. They will continue to report to their masters every time you go back online. Also referred to as Tracking Cookies, these are favorites of the advertising industry.
    Secure cookie – These can only be transmitted via an encrypted connection such as HTTPS. Many of the transactions that you make when you hit the “Buy Now” button on most eCommerce systems utilize these.
    Session cookie – Employed by web browsers the world over, these morsels exist in temporary memory for as long as you use the browser. They are normally deleted when the user closes the browser, only to spring back to life the next time you surf the web.
    Supercookie – Tracking technology does not necessarily need to rely on HTTP cookies. A supercookie is designed to be permanently stored on a user’s computer. This means they are more difficult to detect and eliminate. They function just like regular cookies in that they can be tasked to collect and report on everything from your browsing history, to ad-targeting data.
    Third-party cookie – Normally a cookie’s domain matches the URL shown in the web browser’s address bar. However the so called Third Party Cookies hide their true identity by appearing to emanate from a URL that is different from the one being displayed. Typically associated with adware, these cookies can be used to deliver ads that are concurrent with the user’s browsing preferences.
    Zombie cookie – Just like the zombies made famous in “The Night of the Living Dead,” Zombie Cookies are tough to kill since they spring back to life even after you delete them. Their ability to rise from the dead is aided and abetted by a client-side script that has stored the cookie in multiple locations on your machine. When it detects that the cookie is no longer present (which will happen when you delete it), the script retrieves the cookie and brings it back to life.

    Not only can cookies be difficult to eliminate, they also have long memories. If you have ever used a popular web browser to shop for products online you will notice that for days or even weeks afterward that ads concerning similar products will appear as if by magic. While such activities can prove annoying to the public at large, they can also have more serious implications.

    More....


    Risk of theft....

    Of course, none of this stops cybercriminals from both using and hijacking information being compiled and transmitted by third-party cookies. Network eavesdropping is all too easy to accomplish when the information being transmitted isn’t encrypted.

    managing cookies across a corporation
    Courtesy of www.x-services.nl

    In cryptography and computer security, the man-in-the-middle attack requires an attacker to have the ability to both monitor and alter or inject messages into a communication channel. One example is active eavesdropping, in which the attacker makes independent connections with the victims and relays messages between them to make them believe they are talking directly to each other over a private connection, when in fact the entire conversation is controlled by the attacker. The attacker must be able to intercept all relevant messages passing between the two victims and inject new ones. This is straightforward in many circumstances; for example, an attacker within reception range of an unencrypted Wi-Fi wireless access point, can insert himself as a man-in-the-middle.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man-in-the-middle_attack

    Consider deploying - a consistent, corporate solution
    Sitemorse offers clients the simplest and what could be considered the most efficient solution available to manage cookies. The service is probably the most widely used and has Europe's largest single corporate deployment with our largest clients using across thousands of sites.

    Clients have a couple of lines of ‘code’ to include on their sites, managed directly or via 3rd parties. The code then automatically manages the site auditing, cookie categorisation and reporting (supported by one of the largest databases of cookies) with localisation delivering against language and country specific consent requirements. Service is available as a managed contract or a self service basis.

  • New Aquascutum website delivers one of the best performances in UK - 10 Jun 2015

    British luxury fashion brand Aquascutum has delivered a dramatically improved performance from its online store following a major overhaul of its website that places it among the best internet performers in UK retail.

    In the latest UK Retail 500 Index for Q2 Aquascutum climbed an impressive 128 places to take 11th spot, according to testing undertaken by specialist Digital Governance firm Sitemorse, as it achieved a score of 6.66 out of 10 compared with 4.02 in Q1.

    This improvement pushed Aquascutum into third place in the Clothing category and puts it only a very short distance from the top spot.

    Lawrence Shaw, founder and CEO of Sitemorse, says: “This is an impressive leap up the table for the fashion brand and highlights how it has clearly made some dramatic changes to its online presence that demonstrates great Digital Governance ultimately delivering an improved experience for shoppers visiting the website.”

    The significant improvement is a result of a complete brand overhaul – completed on April 22 ahead of the Q2 testing by Sitemorse on May 12 - that follows other recent online developments by Aquascutum such as offering international shipping and moving the website from a ‘co.uk’ to ‘.com’ domain.

    The brand has been working with digital design studio Bureau for Visual Affairs that has built sites with other luxury brands such as Anya Hindmarch and Whistles.

    Elise Hamer, senior marketing executive at Aquascutum says: “The re-launch of the site looks incredible. The visual now really reflects who we are as a brand. Having a blog and stories section, and being able to host video content makes a world of difference for the customer experience online. It’s now even more important for us as a brand to align offline and online marketing activities, to keep up with the fast-moving world of retail, and digital marketing.”

    About Aquascutum:
    Founded in 1851, the business derived its name from the words ‘Aqua Scutum’, which in Latin translates to ‘Water Shield’. The tailor and founder of the brand John Emary was responsible for pioneering the first waterproof wool fabric, which was then used from 1914 to make the functional trench coats for officers in the First World War.

    In 1998 YGM Trading acquired the license for Aquascutum in Hong Kong and Greater China. In 2009 YGM Trading acquired intellectual property rights for Aquascutum in Asia. In May 2012 YGM gained complete control of the brand globally acquiring the UK arm.

    Integrated Digital governance for Drupal

    About Sitemorse:
    Hundreds of clients across major corporates, local and national government, utilities, financials and the health sector rely on Sitemorse to manage Digital Governance and help them improve the performance, compliance and quality of their online assets, web, mobile and social.

    The company offers true digital insight to many large and small organisations in public and private sectors, as well as publishing regular unique INDEX benchmarks spotlighting the true online leaders in a number of sectors, from London-listed blue chips to universities, central government to consumer finance providers.

  • 2015 Q2/UK Universities and Higher Education : web benchmark : City College Coventry rises 326 - 08 Jun 2015

    Top site this quarter with an Index of 7.22 is Chesterfield College http://www.chesterfield.ac.uk/

    Screenshot of Chesterfield College

    The next top five sites are listed below:
    2nd The University of Manchester
    3rd FutureLearn
    4th Anglia Ruskin University
    5th Henley College Coventry
    6th City College Coventry

    The site that demonstrated the greatest improvement was City College Coventry rising 326 places to rank 6 (Index of 6.43).

    The next five most improved sites are listed below:
    Rising 298, Leeds City College
    Rising 277, SAE Institute
    Rising 209, LeSoCo College
    Rising 179, Richmond, The American International University in London
    Rising 172, Sandwell College

    The reviewing and subsequent benchmarking of the sites was completed on 8th June, in all we carried out 249,197,871 checks - testing function, checking compliance and measuring performance - reviewing the page content, code and delivery infrastructure. Functionally Plymouth University was top, College of West Anglia had the fastest response time with University College Birmingham reporting the best HTML 'code quality'.

    The top sites for accessibility were:
    1st The University of Manchester
    2nd University College Birmingham
    3rd Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education
    4th Heriot-Watt University
    5th Chesterfield College

    The full results and access to the Sitemorse INDEX, 2015 Q2/UK Uni & HE is available at: http://www.sitemorse.com/rt/1119.

    Sitemorse INDEX

    HOW? Using our software we look at each site individually, mapping out every combination of every one of the top 125 pages and complete around 1,200 tests, checks and measures across User Experience (UX), Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) and Search Capability (SEO). Against the results, our benchmarking methodology is applied to provided a ranked table - the results are then published as the "UK Universities and Higher Education" INDEX.

    WHY? The quarterly INDEX Website Review looks at major public and private sectors as the independent benchmark identifying how websites are performing, meeting compliance levels and satisfying their users. It's also a key indicator for website managers who, while always wanting to be at the top of their game, could be hampered by poor-performing suppliers, non-compliant legacy content or content management systems that often fail to spot errors affecting user experience.

    Our services provide you with true 'digital insight', ceaselessly monitoring your online content and pointing you to areas that could be potential problems for you, your clients, and your stakeholders.

    Needing no installation or involvement from your in-house IT teams, our services will run alongside your content management systems:

    - Helping make your customer journeys good ones, leaving your clients and online contacts wanting to come back.
    - Keeping you always ahead of the curve on the latest online legislation that could affect you.
    - Protecting your organisation and your web users from online threats.

    We offer a confidential internal 'company wide' website testing and benchmarking service - allowing you to review the position of all the sites in your organisation. Contact us to find out more.

  • Article - 2Mb Web Pages: Who’s to Blame? - 08 Jun 2015

    Published June 3, 2015 - by Craig Buckler
    web page performance - managing image size

    I was hoping it was a blip. I was hoping 2015 would be the year of performance. I was wrong. Average web page weight has soared 7.5% in five months to exceed 2Mb. That’s three 3.5 inch double-density floppy disks-worth of data (ask your grandparents!).

    The biggest rises are for CSS, JavaScript, other files (mostly fonts) and—surprisingly—Flash. The average number of requests per page:

    100 files in total (up from 95)
    7 style sheet files (up from 6)
    20 JavaScript files (up from 18)
    3 font files (up from 2)

    Images remain the biggest issue, accounting for 56 requests and 62% of the total page weight.

    Finally, remember these figures are averages. Many sites will have a considerably larger weight.

    See full article on his site, useful and detailed statistics are offered.

    http://www.sitepoint.com/2mb-web-pages-whos-blame/

    What can I do to improve the performance for visitors. Improving response and increasing speed. Sitemorse performance section offers a raft of detail to help identify and focus improvement.


    Extract from 10 Web Predictions for 2015 (@craigbuckler)

    "9. 2015 is The Year of Performance

    We’ve concentrated on making sites respond to screen size. What we haven’t done is make them responsive to user interaction and bandwidth. The web has an amazing future but people often prefer native apps because they’re faster and, in some cases, offer a smaller installation package than a corresponding web page.

    Average page weight has doubled during the past three years to reach an obese 2MB. Has your fixed and mobile bandwidth doubled during the same period? Are web sites and applications twice as good?

    Performance has been highlighted by many in the industry but it’s yet to encroach on the general consciousness of web developers. The economy is partly to blame; building something quickly and cheaply is an attractive option. But it’s not cost effective if people refuse to use your cumbersome, resource-hogging application or demand native apps.

    2015 is the year to re-evaluate and prioritize performance. Perhaps we need to return to the ideology of the dial-up internet days when developers would strive for efficiency. Let’s rediscover those lost skills."

  • 2015 Q2/UK Local Government : web benchmark : Ards rises 386 - 04 Jun 2015

    Top site this quarter with an Index of 8.88 is Cornwall http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/

    Screenshot of Cornwall

    The next top five sites are listed below:
    2nd Charnwood
    3rd North Devon
    4th Knowsley
    5th Slough
    6th Scottish Borders

    The site that demonstrated the greatest improvement was Ards rising 386 places to rank 15 (Index of 7.56).

    The next five most improved sites are listed below:
    Rising 334, East Devon
    Rising 256, South Kesteven
    Rising 243, Wyre
    Rising 240, Sutton
    Rising 235, Castlereagh

    The reviewing and subsequent benchmarking of the sites was completed on 4th June, in all we carried out 317,534,152 checks - testing function, checking compliance and measuring performance - reviewing the page content, code and delivery infrastructure. Functionally Knowsley was top, Rushcliffe had the fastest response time with Bournemouth reporting the best HTML 'code quality'.

    The top sites for accessibility were:
    1st North Devon
    2nd Rother
    3rd Cheshire East
    4th Broxtowe
    5th Woking

    The full results and access to the Sitemorse INDEX, 2015 Q2/UK Local Gov. is available at: http://www.sitemorse.com/rt/1117.

    Sitemorse INDEX

    HOW? Using our software we look at each site individually, mapping out every combination of every one of the top 125 pages and complete around 1,200 tests, checks and measures across User Experience (UX), Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) and Search Capability (SEO). Against the results, our benchmarking methodology is applied to provided a ranked table - the results are then published as the "UK Local Government" INDEX.

    WHY? The quarterly INDEX Website Review looks at major public and private sectors as the independent benchmark identifying how websites are performing, meeting compliance levels and satisfying their users. It's also a key indicator for website managers who, while always wanting to be at the top of their game, could be hampered by poor-performing suppliers, non-compliant legacy content or content management systems that often fail to spot errors affecting user experience.

    Our services provide you with true 'digital insight', ceaselessly monitoring your online content and pointing you to areas that could be potential problems for you, your clients, and your stakeholders.

    Needing no installation or involvement from your in-house IT teams, our services will run alongside your content management systems:

    - Helping make your customer journeys good ones, leaving your clients and online contacts wanting to come back.
    - Keeping you always ahead of the curve on the latest online legislation that could affect you.
    - Protecting your organisation and your web users from online threats.

    We offer a confidential internal 'company wide' website testing and benchmarking service - allowing you to review the position of all the sites in your organisation. Contact us to find out more.

  • Grace period ends, enforcement of Cookie Law in Italy begins - 04 Jun 2015

    As of today (3rd June 2015) the grace period provided by the Garante [The Italian Data Protection Authority] for becoming compliant with the cookie law in Italy ends, following the publication of its guidelines (published in English and Italian).

    corporate cookies management - Italian law

    A key point to note in the regulation are the sanctions for both failure to inform users and failure to notify the Garante about the use of certain types of cookies, particularly those involved in profiling, which will include all cookies related to targeted online advertising. There are specific fines for setting cookies without obtaining consent, which can range between €10,000 and €120,000. Fines for not providing adequate information to users about the use of cookies, range from €6,000 to €30,000.

    Sitemorse offers clients the simplest and what could be considered the most efficient solution available to manage cookies. The service is probably the most widely used and has Europe's largest single corporate deployment with our largest clients using across thousands of sites.

    Clients have a couple of lines of ‘code’ to include on their sites, managed directly or via 3rd parties. The code then automatically manages the site auditing, cookie categorisation and reporting (supported by one of the largest databases of cookies) with localisation delivering against language and country specific consent requirements. Service is available as a managed contract or a self service basis.

    Italian DPR Extract, Simplified Arrangements to Provide Information and Obtain Consent Regarding Cookies - 8 may 2014
    THE ITALIAN DATA PROTECTION AUTHORITY

    Having convened today, in the presence of Mr. Antonello Soro, President, Ms. Augusta Iannini, Vice-President, Ms. Giovanna Bianchi-Clerici and Prof. Licia Califano, Members, and Mr. Giuseppe Busia, Secretary General;

    Having regard to Directive 2002/58/EC of 12 July 2002, of the European Parliament and of the Council, concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector;

    Having regard to Directive 2009/136/EC of 25 November 2009, of the European Parliament and of the Council, amending Directive 2002/22/EC on universal service and users' rights relating to electronic communications networks and services, Directive 2002/58/EC concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector and Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 on cooperation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of consumer protection laws;

    Having regard to legislative decree No. 69 of 28 May 2012 concerning "Amendments to legislative decree No. 196 of 30 June 2003, containing the personal data protection Code, in pursuance of Directives 2009/136/EC concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector, and 2009/140/EC concerning electronic communications networks and services and of Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 on cooperation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of consumer protection laws" as published in the Official Journal No. 126 of 31 May 2012;

    Having regard to the personal data protection Code (legislative decree No. 196 of 30 June 2003, hereinafter the "Code"), in particular to Sections 13(3) and 122(1) thereof;

    Having regard to the previous resolution by this DPA concerning "Start of a public consultation under Section 122 to devise simplified arrangements for providing the information mentioned in Section 13(3) of the personal data protection Code" (No. 359 of 22 November 2012, published in Italy's Official Journal No. 295 of 19 December 2012);

    Taking account of the guidance provided by the Article 29 Working Party, in particular via its Opinion 4/2012 on Cookie Consent Exemption as adopted on 7 June 2012 as well as via its Working Document 2/2013 providing guidance on obtaining consent for cookies as adopted on 2 October 2013;

    Taking account of the contributions submitted to the Garante by the main electronic communication service providers as well as by the consumer associations and the industry sectors involved that have participated in the aforementioned public consultation;

    Considering the additional inputs provided on the occasion of the meetings held in September 2013 and February 2014 at the Garante within the framework of the working group started by the Garante in order to foster further, more direct exchanges of views with the above stakeholders as well as with representatives from academia and research dealing with the topics at issue;

    Whereas it is necessary to adopt, under the terms of Section 13(3) as applied jointly with Sections 122(1) and 154(1)c) of the Code, a decision of a general nature to set out the simplified arrangements to inform users online regarding the storage of cookies on their terminal equipment by the websites they visit as well as to provide appropriate guidance on the mechanisms to obtain the users' consent where this is required under the law;

    Whereas the provisions on the use of cookies also apply to similar tools such as web beacons, web bugs, clear GIFs or others, which allow identifying users or terminals and fall accordingly under the scope of this decision;

    Having regard to the considerations by the Office as submitted by the Secretary General under Article 15 of the Garante's Rules of Procedure No. 1/2000;

    Acting on the report submitted by Mr. Antonello Soro;

    More…(further details are at; http://www.garanteprivacy.it/web/guest/home/docweb/-/docweb-display/docweb/3167654)

  • Web Accessibility for Clients (by Danielle Sheffler) - 03 Jun 2015

    Useful couple of articles posted by Danielle Sheffler - if you are using Drupal, we'd like to show you our service integration / pre and post publishing support [we are currently writing a piece on this].

    Web Accessibility for Clients
    PART ONE - Posted on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 - 15:32
    You’re in good hands. A developer is building or renovating your organization’s website, and everything is shaping up as planned. You like what the developer has done and can’t wait to see the finished product. Just keep in mind that, at some point....

    Integrated Digital governance for Drupal

    PART TWO (Posted May 29, 2015)

    Thanks for coming back. If you tried a few of the tips in the first part of this series, you probably realized that making a website accessible to all visitors doesn’t require much time, or cause much stress. Even if you didn’t yet try, I hope this blog further illustrates that clients need not worry about sitting down themselves to create a website that’s useful and informative to visitors with disabilities - without reaching out to a developer for help.
    A Data Table for Everyone

    Without proper setup, a data table will come off as a big jumble of words to those using a screen reader. That’s because the reader will scan left to right and read the header only once and then proceed line by line, failing to give any context to the content below.

    A screen reader instead should say the column header each time it reads the corresponding text below. In other words, it should say the header “Doctor” before reading the name of each doctor. It’s any easy fix; so much so that even a website content manager can do it without the help of a developer. Basically,
    tags with an ID attribute or scope attribute should be included in the code of a data table. The Web Authoring Resource Center offers an easy guide on how to do it.


    Contrast Your Colors
    The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines offered by the World Wide Web Consortium (WC3) recommends that content should be distinguishable and easy for visitors to hear and see, and this includes separating the foreground from the background.

    Some developers create websites from start to finish, including the initial design phase. But other developers enter the journey later, so it’s best that clients not forget about color contrast. The general rule of compliance calls for the visual presentation of text and images to have a contrast ratio of at least 4:5:1. You can test your site’s contrast by using this handy color contrast ratio analyzer by Juicy Studio.
    Keep it Simple

    It might be easy to get carried away when writing content for your website and use lofty words. But don’t forget that the average American has a 7th or 8th grade vocabulary. You want to make sure your general audience quickly understands what you’re trying to convey on a website. If you offer content that’s suited for people with reading levels higher than the national average, you risk turning other visitors away. Once again, Juicy Studio has come to the rescue, with a readability test that has useful advice on how to determine if your content reaches the right audience.

    These are only a few tips that can help clients make a website accessible to all visitors. If you’d like to learn more — or perhaps even gain a greater understanding of Web accessibility itself — there are two more resources worth reading.

    The first is a checklist of standards from Section 508 of the federal Rehabilitation Act that government agencies must follow to provide full and fair Internet access to people with disabilities. Even though only federal agencies are required to follow them, the standards serve as a detailed source of steps for businesses and organizations to use.

    Another useful resource is the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, mentioned earlier, offered by the World Wide Web Consortium (WC3). The guidelines are wide-ranging and should also help you on the way to creating an accessible website.

    These simple steps will help get you started so you can offer a website that’s accessible to all. Understanding how to approach accessibility means you won’t have to zip your developer a frantic email wondering about the specifics of color contrast and data tables. If you have any questions or want to forward other helpful hints, please leave a comment below.

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