Sunday, October 6, 2013

LAB 01: Part 3 Answers

Website User Interface Analysis:

Answer 1: 

Overall I found this website to be very strong in its design and functionality especially with regard to users over 70 years of age. I found the use of blues and green on a white background to be very clear and readable. In my opinion the overall look of the webpage is one that is quite calming which is essential given the context of the website.

I found several of the websites functions and features to work very well. The symptom checker is a very effective and easy was for users if the site to focus the search of information to what is relevant to their individual cases. I also found the interactivity of this feature very user friendly. I think that older users would benefit hugely from this approach of visual feedback and a narrowing of options based on user input. The feature effectively filters out symptoms which are unrelated, while still providing the user with the ability to navigate back up the hierarchy easily and therefore making it clear where the users are in the website at all times.

Another feature to be admire in the design of the website is the menu systems on the home page. I found the inclusion of drop-down menus a very easy to use and informative feature. It is very easy to navigate down into and back out of the content of the website because of this feature. The menu along the side of the website was also very useful, however I found that there were a few words that I would have thought were too technical for everyday language use which might lead to confusion (e.g. Fibromyalgia).

Also another draw-back I felt the website suffered from was that it was very cluttered. The amount of information that the viewer has shown to them on the homepage is substantial. For older viewers especially, I felt that a layout with fewer panels or options might have provided a better solution. However, I feel that the various menus and features of the site allow the viewer to quickly and easily filter out any information that is not relevant to them as they progress deeper into the site.

Overall I feel that the site is very well designed for older users.

I found the book depository website to be another strong site in terms of its design and usability. However I was immediately given the impression that the homepage is not very well designed in terms of its aesthetics. The logo for the site is very small and un-remarkable. I think that the logo especially is poorly designed. I like the fact however that in the top section of the website there is a search bar which you can use to quickly find what you are looking for. I found the tab menus underneath the main logo to be confusing. The tabs have titles like "VSI" "Share your scares" "ipad Mini" and "Sept/Oct". None of these are obvious as to where they bring you and I think that they are poorly chosen titles. I also found that the site does not provide many options for browsing which I would have expected from a online bookstore.

I found the menus along the side of the webpage to be very well designed. I found they brought you into the site and the site provided effective ways for you to see where you were and easy ways back to the home page. I felt that this was very strong design especially when considering users over 70, however like, I found the site to be too cluttered and busy.

Overall, I found the site to be effective for the service it provides while falling short on a few small issues of its usabilty and design, especially for users over 70.

I found the site to be a very mixed back in terms of its usability and interface design. On first opening the webpage, the user notices that the images are large and the page is generally less cluttered that the previous two website. The images which accompany the articles are a good size, the text which declares the headings of the articles are clear and bold. The site, like webmd uses drop-down menus to keep the homepage uncluttered and clear.

However a problem I noticed with the site was that it was not immediately clear what the articles were about or what category they belonged to for examples, links to pages under the category "Image Gallery" were mixed in with links to pages with titles "Design" and "Product Review". I felt that having these different subjects mixed in together without providing any clear and easy way of viewing just the Image Gallery articles for example made the homepage confusing and would not suit all users. In terms of the usability for people over 70, I found the language used to be quite niche in terms of technologically savvy younger audiences. I would imagine that many web users over 70 would not find the subject matter of several articles very easy to distinguish.  

Overall, I found the layout and visual design of the site to be very appealing but found that the way in which the information was arranged and presented to the user slightly unclear. I feel that despite the clearer layout than the other two websites, older users would find this site the least appealing of the three.

Answer 2:
In my opinion, a website which meets the specific needs of a certain group of people, yet is easily usable for all users is

Vimeo is a video sharing website in which users can upload videos which can be viewed by others. The websites design is very simple and its interface is very uncluttered and self explanatory. The colours of the site are appealing and it is easy to browse through videos of other users. For uploading videos, the site offers a FAQs section which makes the process of uploading a video very easy. The website uses a very user friendly language and explains the functions of the website very clearly and simply. The site also allows users to select who they want to be able to view their videos which provides a great level of control for people posting videos.

Answer 3:
Survey Completed

Answer 4:
The online questionnaire for the three sites I have analysed definitely presented me with a few aspects of user interface design which I had not considered in my own analysis of the websites. In particular, I had not really considered the different websites consistency and continuity in my own analysis. Also feedback was an issue I had not fully considered and is certainly a essential aspect of user interface design.

Answer 5:
a. According to the validator, all three websites appear to be 0% mobile friendly. Wired seems to be the worst in terms of mobile friendliness with 5 critical errors, next was the Book depository site with 3 critical and 2 severe failures. Least was with 3 critical but no severe failures.

b. I found that has a result of 61% on the validator

Answer 6:
a. All three websites seem to be quite accessible with wired being the site with the most features and structural elements.

b. All three websites had the problem of having empty headings.

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