The Strategy Plane
The Original Website
We visually pass judgement on anything within seconds of seeing it, whether that be a business’s website or our next door neighbour. Many would agree from a visual aspect that the Home Page of a website is most important, because this is what we see first.
Within seconds, we can consciously acknowledge whether or not we like the look or feel of something. Analysing what exactly it is you don’t like about something can be quite challenging. Below I have listed my analysis of a variety of features and functions shown on Tim’s original website, subject to my opinion.
// General Design and Content
- Lacking in a focal point.
- Overall appearance is bland and outdated.
- Too much information, especially in reference to the Biography page.
- Poor alignment of elements with basic structure.
- Lacking in clean and appealing design.
- Colour scheme lacks contracts resulting in a dull impression.
- Lots of insightful information about Tim and his Boat Building Business which would persuade most customers looking for bespoke boat repair and restoration services.
- The Design Ideas and Environmental pages add depth and a unique feel to Tim’s original website.
- The regularly updated news feed of current projects and ideas allows users to see how active and operative the boatyard is.
- Text sizing is small and has small spacing between lines; making the information hard to read.
- Text overcrowding; the text stretches across the majority of the page which adds to the information being hard to read.
- There is an unnecessary amount of text on it page; again, the information isn’t easy to follow and this negatively affects the entire appearance of the website.
- Although there is a lot of text as mentioned above, the information within the website allows users to experience a personal on look into Tim’s passion for Boatbuilding. This reassures those looking for Tim’s services that he will provide them with a close client/employee relationship, of which many businesses lack in today.
- The font used is small, however doesn’t contain decorative serifs meaning the font is clean and clear.
- The links are similar to the outdated html default blue links; which is often avoided in clean and modern websites.
- There are too many links in relation to the accessible menu navigation; available at the top of each page.
- In reference to the ‘Pilot Cutters’ column on the right hand side of the pages, the links don’t tell you clearly where they will take you.
- The links included in paragraph information, as seen on the Homepage, add to distracting the reader.
- All the links are relevant and none of them are broken.
- Links to the boat designers, magazines and brokerages helpfully offers the user a great variety of websites in relation to boating interest.
- The thumbnails featured on most pages are basic and have no structural place on each page.
- The photos non professional and unclear.
- As the photos are placed on each page without a gallery or pull-up option, the viewer has no access to viewing the photos in detail thus resulting in a non-intriguing appearance.
- No alt labels present*.
- The logo is outdated and too flat.
- The .jpeg photos are clearly raw images of the boatyard and truly represents the boat building in action.
- There are photos of the exterior and interior of the boats as well as the boats in action, again advertising raw images of the product as oppose to stock bought images.
- The logo is simplistic and visually representative of Tim’s business.
- Layout of the menu is very basic.
- Text is too small and head letters are uncapitalised resulting in an unprofessional finish.
- Unnecessary menu options; too many pages titles which could easily be simplified by subtitles or generalised pages.
- The menu is fixed at the top of the page meaning that the user has to scroll upwards to access the main navigation bar.
- The navigation is very simplistic and directs the user around the site well.
- The fixed About Us/Site Map/Contact Us navigation menu is present at the bottom of each page allowing the user to access once finished viewing a page.
This analysis exercise has allowed me to prepare for features I want to involve, and steer clear from, during the actual design of Tim’s website.
The exercise itself fits nicely before the design process and has enabled me to move swiftly onto the Strategy Plane of the Garrett 5 Layer Design; as in doing so I have acquired knowledge of my aims as a web designer during this particular project.