A Google Search for Modern Religion.com gives the following capsule description:
“An EXCELLANT (sic) SITE that will totally BLOW your mind! … world put together to give a refreshing look at the world’s most misunderstood and maligned religion.”
Like most other Web sites that are promoting one faith or another, this description is far too generous.
The Modern Religion.com Web site is dedicated to explaining and promoting the faith of Islam to non-believers. Although it accomplishes that goal, it is also a textbook example of how not to design a Web site.
Among its many design shortcomings is its initial “home/index” page, which presents the visitor a single linked image with an almost unreadable hypertext caption. When this page was run through a IE7-compatible screen reader (SR), nothing happened. A quick “right-click | view source” revealed the absence of “name” and “alt” attributes within the “href” and “img” tags, respectively, to be the cause of the SR’s inability to proceed.
Once beyond this initial page, the visitor will arrive at what probably should have been, with only minimal preliminary site planning, the “top” page. Surprisingly, the logical organization of this Web site is dependent upon the use of frames and tables, both of which have been deprecated by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in favor of the XHTML and Cascading Style Sheet Recommendations, to organize and present its content. Even allowing for the use of deprecated markup, this page is an organizational disaster.
Its left frame is essentially a collection of links, about 20% of which are “broken,” with about half the remaining links leading to off-site content. Although the links are alphabetized, the length of the list listed links is too long and suggests that such ordering could have been better presented by using collapsing sublists under more general headings.
The right-sided “main frame” suffers from the design issues mentioned previously with the exception of cluttering. This frames content is actually “too spread out” in that it is organized as a table within a frame and, as a result, its cells cause their content to appear “stacked.” This is probably a shortcoming of the author’s page creation software (FrontPage 5.0, according to “view page source”) and could be easily corrected with a program of more recent origin or perhaps with
Once again, an IE7-compatible screen reader refused to navigate through this frame for the same reasons as on the site’s initial page: the absence of “name” and “alt” attributes. While this may not seem a major issue to the site’s author, it will definitely cause visually impaired visitors to leave this site in search of similar content that is presented in an acceptable format.
In summary, in addition to its broken links, this site has technical shortcomings that could easily be corrected by improving its markup to conform to more recent W3C Recommendations. Its lack of “alt” and “name” attributes in its markup limits its usefulness to the visually impaired, although this can also be easily corrected.