For this evaluation, a website was analyzed for the quality of its usability and interface design. There were several factors for which scores were issued with 10 being excellent and 1 being a very poor score. Although there were quite a few positive features to acknowledge, the overall quality was found to be quite low. Suggestions are included for what would make this website more usable and valuable for its visitors. What was learned from this study is that a website needs to engage the reader. This can be done by offering a solution to problems. Another way to improve usability is to offer a valuable home-based course or encourage social interaction. The worst things to offer are bland articles and pages leading to blank space.
The website featured in this evaluation offers information on how to be successful in the niche of affiliate marketing and online traffic generation. With regard to the visual appeal of this blue website, it is very aesthetically pleasing to the eye. The gray navigation bar across the top of the page consists of three tabs. The search box within the navigation bar allows for easy access to individual keyword-related content within the website. The extremely large title of the page shows one long compound word. It is cut off and illegible. This is a major point deduction for visual appeal. It reflects inexperience or lack of concern on the part of the site owner. There is a green, black and yellow banner across to the right of the title with flashy text. It should serve as a motivator factor. Motivator factors, “are those that add value to the website by contributing to user satisfaction” (Zhang, 2000).
However, because this banner doesn’t blend in well with the overall color scheme of the site, it looks awkward. It doesn’t complement the design in any way and there is no content introducing or relating to it. Lastly, there are relevant thumbnail images along with the article snippets on the home page. On a scale of 1 to 10 where 10 is an excellent score and 1 is a poor score, the visual appeal of this website earns a 3. Navigation through the webpage occurs rather quickly and smoothly. Despite this good news, clicking on a link with anticipation of certain information leads to a blank page. This is very disappointing. The score for ease of navigation is a 5.
The information on this website has great organizational structure. Recent posts are located in a box and categories are listed in a separate box. Each article is assigned to one or more categories. Featured articles are listed on the home page with images. Finally, the Contact page gives no information about the owner. Organization of information is great but it doesn’t make up for lack of information. If a page lacks vital information that could improve the user experience, it inevitably lowers the potential score for organization. It should receive a 4 rating for organization. There are only 4 main pages that are shown in the tabs and in a box entitled “pages”. Sadly, the “Sitemap”, “Web Traffic Products” and “Web Traffic Videos” have absolutely no content.
In conclusion, this website has been evaluated according to various factors. It was visually appealing with easy navigation and very organized. Although the content was easy to understand for someone familiar with this niche, the articles and individual pages were lacking critical information. “Educating and informing the prospect (giving something of value before asking for the sale) goes a long way”. (Chia, 2008). Pasting links to a foreign company’s product inside of a bland article doesn’t boost ratings for this website. There are so many people looking to capitalize from working at home. Since “somewhat more sophisticated are online curricula that assist home based working” (Manuel and Cardoso, this site should offer practical advice in the form of a free e-course. It would dramatically increase the usability of this website. The total earned points were only 31 out of 70. This leaves a score of 44% which is below the required score in order to earn a strong “F” grade. With all that is lacking in this website, it fails (even by generously forgiving standards) to earn a passing grade for usability and interface design.
- Castells, M., & Cardoso, G. (2005). The Network Society from Knowledge to Policy. Washington DC: John Hopkins Center for Transatlantic Relations.
- Chia, E. (2008). How I Made My First Million on The Internet (p.1360). New York: Morgan James Publishing.
- Zhang, P., & Von Dran, G.M. (2000). Satisfiers and dissatisfiers: A two-factor model for website design and evaluation. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 51(14), 1253-1268. doi:10.1002/1097-4571(2000)9999:9999<::AID-ASI1039>3.0.CO;2-O