DTC 355: Spring 2020: Major Project #1: Web Site Audit

The deadline for this project has been extended from Thursday, February 13, 2020, to Tuesday, February 18, 2020.


In this project, you will audit a web site of your choosing, using the guidelines and methodologies discussed in class. The audit is due before class on Thursday, February 13, 2020 Tuesday, February 18, 2020.


Your audit of one single web site should cover at least four of the following audit areas reviewed in class presentations:

  1. Branding
  2. Design (Grid, Color, Fonts, White Space, Layout & Hierarchy)
  3. Technical Issues
  4. Usability
  5. Content
  6. Keyword Focus
  7. Social Media (including social media and linking)
  8. Accessibility

The specific research and questions are listed on the Audit Questions page. All of these topics have been reviewed during class lectures. (Visit Blackboard for PDF copies of the presentation slides, filed under “Instructor Presentations.”)

For each of your four audit areas, you will:

  • Describe your findings according to the characteristics and questions presented in class.
  • Assign the web site a numerical grade from 1 to 5, with “1” needing a lot of improvement, and “5” doing a very good job.
  • Provide one or more suggestions for improvement in each of your four audit areas.
  • Suggest which of the 5 planes of UX — from The Elements of User Experience — this area falls into.

You may audit any web site that represents a business or organization of one of the following types:

  1. Bakery
  2. Art Gallery
  3. Environmental nonprofit
  4. Restaurant
  5. Marina
  6. Bus tours
  7. Food pantry
  8. Clothing company
  9. Wildlife conservation charity
  10. Performing arts group
  11. Coffee shop
  12. Florist
  13. Homeless shelter
  14. Cultural preservation
  15. Sports team
  16. Youth development nonprofit
  17. Private charter flights
  18. Jeweler
  19. Medical research charity
  20. Antique dealer
  21. Museum
  22. Mobile party DJ
  23. Personal trainer
  24. Daycare center
  25. Animal shelter
  26. Student club or group
  27. Professional photographer
  28. International development nonprofit
  29. Disaster relief group
  30. Zoo or aquarium

If you have a friend or family member who has a web site of one of these types, feel free to audit their site. However, you cannot audit your own site, your instructor’s site, or any site whose URL includes “wsu.edu”.

You can use these services/resources, as needed:

Specific Requirements

Your audit should:

  • Be at least 800 words.
  • Be well-organized and well-written. It should include an introduction and closing, like any good writing. Suggestion: divide your audit areas into specific sections with clearly-labeled subheadings.
  • Use standard 1″ margins and 12 point font sizes, as well as double-spaced text.
  • Include the URL to the web site.
  • Include at least one screenshot of the site in question. (Additional screenshots may be useful, depending on your audit.)
  • Clearly state your rating of 1-5 on each audit area and specific way(s) to improve.
  • Clearly state how the issues you reviewed connect to the 5 levels of UX.
  • Include relevant quotes and vocabulary from class readings and lectures, including The Elements of User Experience and Hello Web Design, and other readings assigned in class.
  • Include data and statistics reported by any services/resources you used (see list above) in text or chart form.
  • Include “Works Cited” at the conclusion that properly cites all the sources you used, using an established citation method (Chicago or MLA).


Your web site audit must be submitted as a Microsoft Word or PDF document.

A link to a Google Doc will not be accepted. However, you can export your Google Doc as a Word or PDF document, and submit that.

No, seriously: Don’t submit a link to a Google Doc. Only upload a Word or PDF file.


Your web site audit must be submitted to Blackboard before class on Thursday, February 13, 2020 Tuesday, February 18, 2020.

Grading Considerations

Out of 100 points, your web site audit will be graded on the following aspects:

  • 80%: the quality and detail of each of the four chosen audit areas, at 20% per area.
  • 10%: the accuracy and relevancy of the quotes included and specific vocabulary used.
  • 10%: how well you followed all the points listed under Specific Requirements.

Extra Credit

You can earn extra credit in this assignment as follows:

  • Fifth Audit Area — up to 10 extra points (out of 100): According to the description, you are only required to complete 4 audit areas. You may complete a 5th audit area for up to an extra 10% on your grade
  • Wireframing — up to 10 extra points (out of 100): Draw a precise black-and-white logical wireframe of any main page of your audited web site using Mockflow Wireframe Pro. You can pick any main page of the web site, such as the home page, a major product category page, a major About Us page, etc. Your wireframe should be exported as a PNG image and then embedded into your audit.