critiquing a website using a third party

November 14, 2009admin 176 Comments »

Oddly enough, I did do some usability testing.  I was critiquing websites and decided to use outside sources to give me better feedback.  When you are having a web site built, it’s important to make sure that these five important elements of web site design are taken into consideration. A web site can be what sets your company, or product apart from your competition so it’s important that the site be great.  Websites that are most appealing have ease of usability, creative and beautiful design, good quality and easy to read.  When determining if a website has these qualities I looked at a third parties’ reaction to the websites.  I chose someone who is not a yogi and who does not practice yoga to navigate through these sites and discuss the ease of use and to touch on each of the four categories of usability, design, quality and appropriateness of writing, and the big picture.  For this particular exploration into discovering good websites, I decided to examine a couple different yoga websites to analyze.

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One of my critiques was as follows:

The colors could have been warmer and less bright and the color of the font, again used on a white background was challenging to read.  This is by far the least efficient and professional out of the three websites being critiqued.  The website looked playful and informative, until looking for specific questions.  When one was asked to decipher between meditation and yoga and yoga and health, the results were disheartening.  The site was very “wordy” and he got frustrated with how much reading there was, there was no harmony between the visual communication and the design layout.  It makes looking on the web easier when lists are made or bulleted.  When there are paragraphs upon paragraphs one tends to get board and this is where you can easily lose interest in the site.  While my friend was researching meditation and yoga he wanted to go back to the home page and had a difficult time finding where to go back and it was pretty much hidden under the task bar above.  The color scheme was confusing and did not flow as well as I would have liked.  The font could have been smoother instead of bolded, making the site look more elementary than necessary.  And again, the site designer used a light orange font against a white background, another flaw that I found in the site.  The links that are at the top of the page are where the eye is naturally attracted, but then there are another set of links in the middle of the page which looks awkwardly placed.  The purpose of this site was supposed to spell out what yoga is and I do not believe they did that.  It was hard to work through and it looked like the text was squeezed.  And there certainly could have been more appealing graphic design, with serene settings and people enjoying yoga in their poses. This site was in need of better aesthetic experience in the form of video clips, Flash animation, better pictures and the use of these effects on websites depend on the target audience that was not clearly defined.

Finally, when looking at the visual aesthetics and content in general, each website will differ depending on the functionality, usability, etc.  These four websites were all designed well to an extent and differed depending on their target audience.  These websites all contribute to the learning process for yoga in their own respects.  I feel it is necessary to have a good sense of what constitutes a good website.  In order to fully understand that it is imperative to do as much research as possible, by navigating through the site yourself.  I looked at the sites as an outsider with an understanding of yoga, and that is why I used a third party to look at the sites as well to give me more feedback.  They did not have any background knowledge of yoga and simple questions were asked of them and this showed me how user friendly it was.  This was certainly an interesting analysis to find what works and what does not.  Good visual aesthetics equals good web accessibility.  Visual aesthetics have been shown to enhance positive user experience in the context of the World Wide Web.

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