How long does your website take to load?
Slow loading times are a major reason why web traffic is cut short. Some pages take so long that users lose patience, lack the time or are unable to access the page at all. Web pages are often larger than they need to be and on low bandwidth connections – common in developing countries – pages can take over a minute to load or simply time out!
Publishers for Development and Aptivate invite you to take our Bandwidth Challenge. We want you to review your website and see how you can adapt and optimise it for low bandwidth environments.
Why do this? Because it’s not enough to just make information resources available – access to these resources also needs to be improved.
“Improving access makes an enormous difference to the professional lives of individuals; how they work and think, their research impacts and their reputation – and the reputation of their environment. For researchers in developing countries to succeed in research on the global stage, the challenges are many. But creating usable interfaces seems a simple place to start.”
James Lush, Policy Officer, Biochemical Society
This year, we hope the research and publishing community will seize the challenge and take a few steps to improve access to online resources.
How do you do this?
Speed test and review your site to see how you can enable faster access and help prevent frustrating timeouts for researchers – without spending significant time or money
Make changes to your interface to increase researcher usability and “stickability” – you will be amazed at how easily you can make significant changes
If you are developing a mobile interface, plan your design so it is also usable from a browser – and follow the lead of Cambridge University Press
So where do you start?
Also, look at the case studies, presentations and examples below for more information on how you can make your site more accessible.
Examples and resources
Low bandwidth websites
- Research and Innovation Management for African and the Caribbean (RIMI4AC) project. This is a series of low bandwidth websites designed by Aptivate. They include the main project site, and websites for four of the regional associations.
- Cambridge University Press Journals Online Mobile site. See this case study on how this was developed as both a mobile interface and low bandwidth option.
- It’s the little things that count. See how a few small changes made dramatic differences to the AuthorAID website’s accessibility.
- Speed Test data for Africa. This is a visual representation that gives some contenxt, but see our post on why this isn’t exactly what it seems.
- The African Undersea Cable Map – put together by Steve Song
- See the presentations Alan Jackson (Aptivate) and Caroline Kerbyson (Cambridge University Press) gave at the 2011 PfD Conference.
For further information contact the PfD team – firstname.lastname@example.org