Wow, Craig, I`m surprised that you found it difficult to know what the site was all about. For me, I have an excellent test to see if a site meets the first basic rule. I go to the site and notice what`s the most prominent element on the page. If that element tells me something basic about what the site is all about, then the designers have at least passed a most basic necessity for an effective site. So, for this site I would suggest that the graphic element in the upper left with the name of the site, the issue number, and a quick blurb about who the site is for, is the most prominent element on the page. No?
Beyond that, it`s about effective navigation elements (in this case, 6 basic areas are clearly situated and linked at the top). The heads and subheads and links are all given a different value (weight/color) to quickly indicate the hierarchy. The page is not cluttered.
All of these things are developed with a clear understanding of how folks process and use content on a web page. These designers and content developers know their medium forwards and backwards.
I might add, the articles themselves are well-written and are quite informative for someone wanting to know more about the semantic web and the important role it plays in web development.
There`s much to learn from this site.
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