Usability Evaluation and Recommendations

Topics: Web page, Typography, Color Pages: 9 (3260 words) Published: December 1, 2012
Usability Evaluation and Recommendations
For Sixties Press Poetry Magazine
IT3210 - Web Systems and Technologies
John Winko
Capella University

This paper will propose a website redesign for Sixties Press Poetry Magazine located at The site is owned by Thushari Williams according to Whois and the primary purpose of the site is curating/collecting/publishing various poets’ work that relates to a 1960’s era theme. There does not appear to be any corporate backing to the publication or syndication of any sort. After reading through the tirade of obfuscated source code, it is a safe assumption the site was initially done in an older version of Microsoft Word then saved as a webpage. Site improvements will be recommended based off of a blended heuristic matrix found in appendix 1 formed from Search Engine Journal and

Table of Contents

Table of Contents3
Structure and layout4
Information architecture and site navigation5
Use of visual elements6
Appendix 1 - Heuristic Usability Questionnaire10
Appendix 2 – Site Navigation and Use Case Scenario14

The website is for a magazine called “Sixties Press Poetry”. The site has a logo that is replicated at the top of every page but does not have a clear tag line to indicate the purpose of the site. A user has to glean the fact the site is a collaboration of different authors generating 60’s themed poetry from menu items and the body content on the main page. There is not a specific “About Us” page anywhere on the site and the only contact information is in a small section on the bottom left portion of the homepage. The target audience is anyone seeking poetry with a 60’s theme and critical of poetry publishing processes in place in today’s society. Additionally, there are options for purchasing hard-print magazines chosen from a catalog. These facts are not readily ascertained from the overload of content found on the homepage. The site redesign will give a more concise description of the site’s purpose on the homepage as well as a brief tagline. The amount of content on the homepage will be trimmed down so that the site’s identity and purpose are more readily apparent. Structure and layout

From a layout standpoint, the overall wrapping of the body of each page on the site changes with the homepage having a wrapped width of 836px while the poetry page has a fixed width of 989px. This inconsistency leads to extra whitespace for some pages while less or none for other pages based on the user’s browser resolution and size. The body content is also left aligned so all extra whitespace is shown on the right which detracts from easier focus on the central content of pages. All of the pages show the site logo at the top followed by a navigation menu. This is considered good design and will not be changed structurally for the site redesign. The homepage uses a 3 column layout while other pages vary from 1 to 3 columns for their layouts. Columns are not distinctive in their content and are structurally disruptive giving the appearance of “cramming” information into a tighter space. There are apparent sections within the homepage body to delineate different parts of the site but no form of clean navigation to identify a relevant section quickly aside from consolidated coloring for each section. Pages are laid out with tables using blank paragraph tags to add space for formatting. This creates a very different viewing experience across different browsers as each medium has a different set of default values for spacing padding etc. The table widths also vary from page to page and section to section creating different alignments from the fixed position formatting used. The site redesign will eliminate the table structure for layout and use floated elements...
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