Thursday, June 17, 2010

Purple Pickle Cafe Website

Purple Pickle Cafe, Australian National University, CanberraThe Purple Pickle Cafe is located at the sports centre of the Australian National University. As I teach web design at the ANU I was asked to do a quick check of the web site:
  • W3C Markup Validation Service: 7 Errors. These are minor errors, which can be easily fixed. They would not stop the web site from being viewed, but might cause problems with some mobile browsers.
  • W3C mobileOK Checker: 21% This is a reasonable result for a web page not specifically designed for display on a mobile phone. However, given that there is a high use of mobile devices on campus (and free WiFi provided over much of the campus), it would be worth increasing mobile compatibility. Some problems reported by the test are also no mobile specific, such as "The CSS style sheet is not syntactically valid CSS".
  • Accessibility test: The TAW accessibility test reported one Priority 1, One Priority 2 and no Priority automatically detected problems. This is a good result. The two problems are easily fixed, by adding ALT text to the logo and correcting the nesting order of the headings.
  • Without styles: With styles turned off the page displayed as one column of text and was still usable.
  • Message conveyed: The web page clearly states what it is about: a cafe located at a university in Canberra. The page is clearly aimed at catering for events, not casual diners. But it would be useful to include the street address of the cafe and a link to a map. While the page mentions "Australia" it would be useful to include the word "Australia" in the address, to clearly indicate where it is.
  • Products: The first item on the menu is "Morning and afternoon tea". Clicking this displays "There are no products in this group". This is a confusing message. It is suggested that there be something offered here or the customer is likely to think the cafe doesn't do morning or afternoon tea.
  • Checkout: The web site offers a reasonable shopping cart facility for ordering catering. While I did not try all functions, this looks usable. The option for creating a purchase order is a useful addition for those ordering corporate catering.
  • Contact: The page lacks a contact section. The telephone number is provided at the bottom of the page, but a place where other contact details are provided would be useful. An email address or text query form would be useful.
  • ABN: The web page should display at the bottom the full legal name of the business and the Australian Business Number (ANB) should be provided with the contact details.
  • Visability: A Google search for "cafe ANU" returned the Purple Pickle Cafe web site ninth in the list. This uis a good re4ault as there are several other cafes on campus. In addition, the first page was the ANU Sport & Recreation Association mentioning the cafe with a link. It is suggested the association be offered a better photo of the cafe, which looks stark and deserted on their page. The fourth link was to my own travelogue "National Museum of Australia by Bicycle".
ps: The Purple Pickle Cafe opened shortly after I joined the ANU and is across the road from my office, so I have lunch there most days when at the University. The Cafe has outdoor dining under trees at the collocated entrance to the Gym, which I was reminded of when visiting Delphi, seeing the ancient gymnasium where the philosophers discussed education, under a tree by the Stoa. But the modern cafe, like the modern university, is partly online.

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