WEB RESOURCE RATINGS
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How We Review & Rate Web Resources
The one thing that makes MHN pretty unique in comparison to other mental health
Web resources is our dedication to offering not merely a listing of other mental
health resources around the world, but to also rate the quality of the resource's
content and presentation. We meticulously review Web resources and give them
an appropriate rating based upon four main rating categories: Content, Presentation,
Ease-of-Use, and Overall Experience.
Content is the meat of the site. It is the breadth and depth of the
material, no matter what the subject matter, provided through that site. Content
may be reading material, information, contact information for real-world organizations,
and links. Questions we ask when rating content:
- Does the site add new and unique material to the online world, or does
it simply list or link to existing material well-covered by other sites
- Does it offer new insights into a disorder, or offer information not found
- Does it offer refreshing perspectives, and/or regularly updated new content
in the form of news articles, opinions, or other forms of communication?
- Does it include interactive features?
- Is it just an advertisement for an organization or company or individual?
Presentation is, at the heart of it, how good does a site look and how well
organized the information is. A very plain site with little or no graphics
can score just as high as a site with loads of fancy graphics, if it is well-arranged
and -designed. Usually, though, most sites which score higher on presentation
do so because of well-designed graphics with limited or no use of animated
graphics (which many users find annoying).
- Is the information laid out in a logical and well-organized manner?
- Are graphics designed appropriately for the site and do they load quickly?
- Do the graphics overwhelm the user and the content?
- Is the site advertiser-sponsored (and hence, adding to the "busy-ness"
of each page which sports a banner advertisement)?
- Is it arranged so the best material the site has to offer is clearly delineated
from other, less-important material?
Ease-of-use denotes how easy it is for you to move around the site and find
specific information relatively easily and most of all, quickly. Large sites
should have or use a search engine to help you find information in this manner.
All sites should be logically arranged and organized. We often pick a specific
piece of information one would hypothetically be searching for. For instance,
on a site devoted to depression, perhaps we'd be interested in learning more
about what makes someone depressed or what treatments are available for it.
Contact information, in the form of at least an e-mail address or a link to
something similar, should be provided on every page.
- Can we find our way to X content quickly using the navigation aids provided,
and then get back to the home page as painlessly?
- Is a search engine or utility provided to help us find information more
quickly (when appropriate)?
- Can we easily find contact information on the page to provide feedback
about broken links?
This category takes into account all three previous categories and allows
us to evaluate our overall experience and feelings about the site. Although
this is a relatively subjective rating, we are able to make it less subjective
by simply taking into account the 3 previous categories.
- What kind of feelings did we have when we came away from the site?
- Was it enjoyable to read through or was it painful?
- Were we expecting more and became disappointed by the content or presentation
or difficulty in navigating through the site?
- Would we bookmark the site ourselves or find ourselves wanting to return
on a regular basis?
Star Rating System
We use a simple 4 star system here. The ratings are as follow:
- Excellent, one
of the best sites on the Web for this resource
- Very good and worth
your time to check out
- Average, a good site
filled with basic information
- Lacking important content
- Poor, not worth your
A lack of a star does not denote quality; it means we haven't gotten to that
particular site yet to rate it. Some sites and Web resources, because of their
nature, will never be rated.