To ensure that portals meet an ongoing high-quality standard, you can implement techniques for regular checks to make sure the portal’s performance continues to be satisfactory. Each check offers an opportunity to improve the portal even further. An up-to-date, continuously improving portal results in better user experience and increases the likelihood that visitors will return to the site.
In the framework of EURAXESS TOP II, AMEUP has prepared for the members of the Network three practical documents with recommendations on how to structure and maintain three important sections within each national EURAXESS website. These sections are: a) Entry and residence, b) Social Security and c) Employment formalities. Use these recommendations and offer to your visitors well-structured and concise information to three issues that are of interested to the majority of researchers.
In general terms, you can maintain a high-quality website by using experts to review your portal. When posting information, work together with authorities, such as the tax administration, the immigration office, the police, social security administration, pension funds, (see Norway 1 and The Netherlands 7), translators, web editors and other experts (see The Netherlands 6) or even external law firms (see Germany 2). Following the example of the Norwegian experience (see Norway 1), a quality control group can discuss the texts with the authorities and also make suggestions to improve the quality of the portal itself.
By frequently using the portal yourself—and by encouraging network partners to do so, too—broken links and other mistakes can be quickly detected (see Norway 1, Croatia 1 and Finland). In addition, portal visitors should be able to easily report (i) broken links, (ii) outdated information, or (iii) any technical problem (see Austria 1). Obviously such suggestions from outsiders should be followed up promptly.
To check if your portal has any broken links, you can run a regular link checking programme. There are a number of free software applications available on the Internet: Montenegro, for example, uses an open source application (for more information on using open source, see The Netherlands 5). You can also develop your own link-checking application (see Serbia 1). However, not all broken links are detected automatically, so we do advise revisiting the links manually (see Greece).
An additional quality control measure involves creating a system in which you plan your activities in advance. A good example of this is EURAXESS Germany’s portal management timetable (see Germany 1). This system helps to ensure the quality of the portal throughout the year, even at times of higher workload.
Finally, to further optimize your portal, you can gather feedback from potential users. EURAXESS The Netherlands (see The Netherlands 1) has conducted an evaluation to find out which keywords directed visitors to their website. In Italy, the web managers conducted two focus groups to identify weak and strong points in their portal (see Italy 2).