TC 448, how much apple rules, and a myraid of other useless knowledge to try and help you understand your purpose.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

TC448 Website Crit

Not five seconds ago my entire post just somehow disappeared into thin air. Stupid Cyber Space. So anyways here comes attempt number two.

This week's website critique is on

This website is an "exhibit" for a Museum of Art, and it displays this professionalism with its choice of clean and crisp graphics, and font choices.

Museums are usually in the public realm so you would expect that the website would be held to the most strict of usability regulations. So that every single user no matter the disability would get a fair shot at viewing the page. However even at the first page, some confusion begins. There is no "start exhibit here" text link, and it is unclear that you are supposed to click on the image to continue until you mouse over the image.

I also understand that in keeping with the spirit of art, a flash based website would be a good choice, however this makes it extremely difficult to create a page that is accessible to users with visual disabilities, because it is very hard for a screen reader to "view" the content. Flash also makes it more difficult for search engines to seek out the page, and add it to their results.

And until just a few seconds ago I didn't even realize that there are two options two choose from at the front page. You can click on the left side, "World Times" and you can click on the right, "Conservation Time". After clicking one of these links there is also no way to get back to the front page if you happen to close the main black launch page in the background. Ahh I just noticed that at the top there is a navigational bar, that can be used to choose between the different topics. So either I am a completely incompetent fool, or else this site has not done a very good job in testing.

The site does have a few nice features, such as the navigational map, that allows a visual connection to the subject being linked to. It also has a convenient slide-able bar that allows you to hide the map to open up a larger viewing area. Every topic also has link to view a related classroom idea.

I believe that even though this site may not cater to absolutely 100% of the possible users that it encounters, it is still a very good site. I have since determined that I am just a completely incompetent fool, because my brain does not seem to be functioning correctly at this hour, and that the navigation, and layout of this site is well within the boundaries of good design. It has great content, and the design is fairly simple, creative, and even though it employes a slightly unconventional navigational theme, it is still very usable to the everyday user.


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