Thursday, February 4, 2010

Holy Cluttered Webspace Batman!

I suppose this was inevitably going to come out eventually, so I'd rather get it over with. My square indulgence in this world is what we'll call an "appreciation" for the cape and cowl of Batman. I wouldn't say I'm a nerd about it, but the fact that I check once every couple of weeks may in fact undermine my claim. Let's just say I like to stay informed. On to business....

I've never been a fan of this homepage. There a graphics and advertisements that cover a lot of the surface area of the site. In order to get too the current movie news, you have to scroll down a ways which is a pain, considering that is the purpose of the web page. The links to other interesting stories on the site are found at the top of the page, that is a plus. However, these links are small, found in one big clumpy list, and the gray font does not contrast well with the black background. These three factors combined force a reader to skim and find it difficult to find a specific article on the site. Links to other pages on the site are tiny and seem to hide in the left column of the web page. Compared to the ads and graphics they are practically invisible.

Following the most recent story, a huge advertisement is present before you ever see other stories, this would discourage me from reading on in the site, as I would assume that all important information would be found before the advertisement. A pain of a website, but the reporting is solid.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

In looking at Pennsylvania’s Department of transportation website, the homepage seemed like one big traffic jam. I never thought that a website would make me wish that I were actually in line in the actual DMV but, this in clarity of this homepage certainly came close. There is no spacing on this homepage and the proximity of pieces and links are very cluttered and make my mind overwhelmed before I even read the offered links. The difference between “Online Services” and “Information Centers” are unclear and overall I feel as though the web page and links could be phrased more concisely in order to clear up the crowded homepage. One plus of the page however, is that there is no need to scroll on the page.
The sight on how to create a website is pretty basic, but overall pretty effective. The text contrast of the piece makes the text readable. While the font could be larger I think it is hard to find a text color that would not contrast heavily to such a blaringly loud yellow hue. There are links at the top and side of the page that can help you access answers to your specific questions. The fact that the links are always present on the side even as you scroll is definitely a plus. Perhaps the website could be spaced out better, as all of the site’s content can be found one page. I would most certainly put separate content on separate web pages, but the links allow for quick access anyway. In conclusion, I’ve certainly seen better and worse sites, and overall I think the site fills its purpose. (Which is found at the top of the page and should be larger, text variation is an issue, as they want to prevent the words and topics from being muddled together and/or skimmed.)
The WXPN site is pretty well constructed; there are well aligned and symmetrical links at the top of the page which make navigating the website much easier (with sub categories available once you scroll over the general categories). The homepage is busy one, perhaps a bit too busy, but with that said, each headline is within its own box and as a result do not run into each other. There are some changes that could be made to make the homepage more concise as there is a lot of scrolling to do to see the entire page, but overall the web page seems solid and could certainly be more chaotic than it is.
The science fiction site seems to have a bit too much contrast going on, as the space background combines with yellow, red, and green text, and a plethora of pictures to create a monster that one could only wish was actually fiction. It’s quite simply too much for the eyes to handle. One could find it difficult to focus on anything on the page. The green links on the side are very small and seem to be hiding amongst the spaceships and storm troopers. Just not a great layout; you have to actually concentrate pretty hard to ascertain what is going on with the website. Live long and prosper.