Activity Sheet 7: Home Page Design

Under Fundamentals of Web Design, in Activity Sheet 7 I was asked to look at a few articles discussing home page layout, design, and typography. Some of the websites I had to look at were nothing short but amazing and others just made me accidentally draw attention to myself because I was laughing too hard.

One of the first websites I had to look at was to give the “five second test” to a website that wasn’t mainstream.

Five second test site 

What I gathered from the site was, at first I couldn’t entirely figure out what the core business model was. It appeared to be either a radio station’s website or a website that sells amps. I searched the store and was even confused to see a TV and a computer for sale! (bad for business and the customer)

It certainly captures attention, my eye is constantly drawn to the company’s logo. The design and font style used is very pleasing to see and it is big enough that it was the first thing I saw. Even though I viewed this site yesterday, I still remember what the logo looks like. (great for business)

What can I do to make it better? I would say I could make the pitch of whatever they’re selling a little easier to guess! Even if it IS a hodge podge of different things, it still needs to be states somewhere that they sell a lot of different stuff. I will even admit after the five seconds and I recorded my initial information I went back to see if I could find it and still couldn’t!

The next two sites I had to look at were “successful” websites or websites that do a good job with layout, design, and usability.

The first site I looked at was very visually pleasing and has a simple layout that stuck to colors that complimented each other, but I am supposed to be looking at usability.

The company’s core business is not only in the name it’s easy to tell on the site what they do. From the moving picture gallery of food front and center to the logo at the top in a font size big enough to draw the eye, it’s easy to figure out they’re a cafe (good for business AND the customers). It was also nice that the picture gallery didn’t slow load time down for me.

The site’s navigation is easy to locate and easy to use. It’s not confusing to find what I want and with most of the items I just have to click on one thing to get to what I want (great for customers).

The second site I looked at is described as being an ebay for travel. It’s easy to use and simple looking. The navigation itself takes up half the page and all it is is a search bar to find what/where you want. It even has an area to try and find a place that is perfect for how long you are planning to stay and how many people you plan to take with you.

The biggest piece of text is right above the search bar which directs you (and even prompts you) to start looking (great for business). It’s very easy to tell what they do (good for business and customers) and it’s an easy to use website (good for customers).

The last two websites I had to look at are “unsuccessful” websites. They do not have very good usability at all and if I used either of  these for the five second test they would probably fail instantly, at least one of them would.

The first one site I looked at almost gave me a headache the first time I looked at and I really couldn’t believe it was a website for an art school. The navigation was easy to find, it’s off to the side. But the site is the kind of site that if I opened it or stumbled on it at home and wasn’t required by class to look at I would hit the back button and never look back. (bad for business)

It has a background that changes from page to page, so it’s very inconsistent, not to mention the background is pretty distracting from the content. It also has nothing to do with art school.

I guess it captures attention but not in a good way more the “it’s so terrible I can’t look away” kind of way. I’m just going to assume they meant it to capture attention like that?

There are many ways I could make this better, make it a more simple layout, the  navigation could have fewer links (even if it is creating subcategories, it’s cleaning up the side bar), the background could be consistent throughout the site and make it one color or one idea that maybe has something to do with art school.

The last website I looked at was actually the single most hilarious website I’ve ever seen. Mainly because that’s all you could do on it. Look at it.

It’s a very good looking site and if it had a navigation it would probably be one of the site’s I put under “successful” but…it doesn’t.

Well actually I DID find the navigation but not the day I found the site. When I pulled it up again to examine it once more before I started this post I finally found it after clicking somewhere on the site did the navigation actually start working (really bad for business and even worse for customers).

Although the navigation finally started working I couldn’t get the on/off button to work for the music (really bad if the customer is like me and hates autoplay music with a passion).

To be honest, I was laughing yesterday while looking at the site because I tried to find the navigation and then tried to have my neighbor try to find it and we both couldn’t.

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