Corporate websites fail usability test

A third of the UK's largest companies do not provide adequate levels of information on their corporate websites, according to an...

A third of the UK's largest companies do not provide adequate levels of information on their corporate websites, according to an annual usability survey of FTSE 100 firms.

Oil company Shell and National Grid came out best in the survey, which has been conducted by web usability specialist Porter Research for the past three years.

The survey found that 20% of websites did not offer visitors a link to share price information from their home pages, 25% did not provide a facility to search the sites for key information, and 19% did not offer a clear explanation of corporate activities.

The survey ranked companies' home pages according to four main criteria, which were based on established conventions. These were "must haves" such as news and contact details; overall design, navigation and technical performance; speed of loading; and cross-browser compatibility.

Adrian Porter, head of Porter Research and report author, said, "This year's report shows that there is a nucleus of companies which treat their corporate audiences as secondary.

"It would appear that these companies do not really care how the corporate world sees them, or about the impression they are creating by continually presenting important site visitors such as the media, investors, potential investors and their brightest potential employees, with inefficient, poorly created pages."

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