Website Analysis, Williams Principles

The design of a website, as a whole, still involves many of the sameprinciples as a linear document. That is, contrast, alignment, repetitionand proximity should be consistent throughout the site. Choosing logicalflexibility within these design elements can enhance a website to adesired level. On the flip side, overemphasizing differences betweenpages can lead to a poor design. The following analysis strays fromapplying the design principles in a traditional sense as we take a look how they are applied to the document as a whole. The Centre for Sustainable Design maintains a simple, yet professionalappealing website.

Style decisions using contrast on a black backgroundfor the homepage give the site a preliminary degree of credibility becauseit has been made known that the majority believes that white and blackcontrast is the easiest to read. Of course there is a san-serif font, likemost other websites because serifs seem to be more difficult to read on acomputer screen. Repetition in the focal graphics on the homepage beginsto lead the audience to a comfort level within the site.

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The generaltemplate remains the same, with the navigation being on the left and thetop, maintaining its black color and when you click one of the main focalpoints on the homepage, one of the four pictures, it takes you to anotherpage that still have that same picture/focal point to a degree.Specifically, the repetition of size (170x142pixels), color (greyscale),and angle variance in the graphics create a complimenting montage. Eachof the repetitious graphics also lead way into the article theyrepresent. A repetitious feature is also utilized in the navigation bar above thegraphics. A mouse rollover displays a description of each topic area. The text appears on a white-on-black contrast in the upper right corner,again leading the audience to what lies within the page. However, oncethe site is entered, the navigation bar loses the rollover feature.

Theycould have simply copied the code from the homepage and changed the colorof the text to allow for the repetition of the rollover feature. Thiswould allow the audience to read the descriptions from pages within thesite to determine their interest. The authors of this homepage may haveguessed that the user would have looked at all the rollover informationbefore deciding on which part to click on, therefore, making the rolloverunnecessary in the following pages. However, making assumptions like thatusually are not what really happens, the design should be the samethroughout, with the same rollover text as the homepage to help theuser-friendly aspect. Doing this also helps show your ethos by displayingthat the authors were thinking about this as a potential problem and aredoing their best to deliver the right information in the easiest waypossible.Another failure of repetition is found in the graphics of each navigationbar topic area. After creating a blending montage for the homepage theCentre fails to keep the same size, color and angle variance of photos inthe topic areas. Even though it was mentioned above that the focal pointsremain the somewhat the same throughout the page, they are still nottotally the same by any means and could be made better if they were.

Forexample, the resources area has a color picture of a bookshelf with size124x151 pixels. To remain constant they should have saved the photo grayscale and resized it to as near 170×142 as possible without distorting the image. The same repetition errors can be found in each topic area ofthe navigation bar. We would also like to address errors in proximity relative to the layoutof the website.

Each of the focal graphics on the homepage offers a linkto a journal article published by the Centre.Well, the graphics lead the user to believe a link is offered to the article. The rollover on the graphic would suggest a link to the article.Instead it just a link to the journal area, a page that describes thejournal. The rollover displays the name of the article and the issuenumber with publishing date. It is the job of the user to find the properlinks to while memorizing the article title to read the desired piece. According to Williams, this is poor use or perhaps lack of proximity.

Therelated items are grouped nowhere together, and add a degree of difficultyto find the relating article. This also hurts the site’s credibilitybecause the information is not easy to get to. Digging around the site tofind the text you are looking for shows poor organization and proximity islessened. At first glance, The Centre offers an appealing website. However,clicking further reveals a few small design mistakes that tediouslydiscredit the content.

Each page was designed fairly well standingalone. However, detailed differences can pile up within a site. Whenpublishing in an electronic format, it is as important to consider designelements as a whole as for each individual page.Words/ Pages : 812 / 24