Web236 - Web Design I - Week 5 - Final - Riordan Manufacturing Website Evaluation

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Riordan Manufacturing Website Evaluation
University of Phoenix
WEB/236 Web Design I

April 26, 2011
Riordan Manufacturing Website Evaluation
Riordan Manufacturing Inc. is an internationally known and respected plastics company. They are an innovator when it comes to plastic injection molding. They are based throughout the United States and abroad. With all that this company has accomplished, it is astonishing that they have not brought their website up to the same standards. When first visiting Riordan’s home page, it appears bland and seems as if it was created by a novice web designer who used a website template. The overall appearance is not welcoming to the site’s users and its white background and lack of content makes the homepage next to lifeless (see fig. 1), Figure 1

The internet home page gives the user a brief description of the company and some contact information. There is a list of some of the products Riordan supplies, but that is it; it is just a list. There is no description of the items. No links that takes the user to pictures of the items. No links that takes users and/or customers to an ordering catalog or even an on-line ordering system. The only upside to the home page is that they have three pictures and a banner that makes the page somewhat bearable. When the user travels to the intranet there is just a banner and three sections of the home page (See fig. 2). The three sections include a brief description of Riordan Manufacturing with a bit more details than the internet nom page, their mission statement, and a history of the company. To the left of all of that there are several links that lets the user navigate his way through several departments within the company. However, Riordan has once again kept the plain white background and keeps their web pages uneventful. Figure 2

The intended purpose of the internet home page is not as obvious as other home pages. With only a brief description, along with a phone number and incomplete email address, it seems that they only wish to publish an informational web site. But, with the addition of the list of products they supply it gives the underlying feeling that they also want to increase their customer base with the help of the World Wide Web. If that is the case, Riordan is doing a poor job at helping potential customers view any information about the products they manufacture. On the other hand, if their goal is to merely publish an informational web site to get their contact information out, then they are doing a somewhat better job by providing a telephone number. The inclusion of the incomplete email address helps them in no way, shape or form. With the web pages being so basic and lacking information, there is no clear way to tell what Riordan’s target audience is for their internet site. On the other hand, the intranet site that Riordan has published makes it obvious that the site is intended for internal use. The site may be unappealing to the eyes, but its intended use has made itself clear. On the initial evaluation of the design layout used to produce the current Riordan Manufacturing website the first thing that stands out are the colors and fonts used. The simple white and light blue color scheme used appears to contrast efficiently enough at first glance but upon further inspection the light blue used with smaller font does not have enough contrast, making anyone without 20/20 vision squint to read the information. When picking a color scheme Riordan Manufacturing should keep in mind that they are trying to project themselves as not only as one of the top tier companies in the plastics development field but also as innovators. The use of such generic colors does not portray the image of an innovator but paints a picture of a company that may have problems thinking outside of the box which in turn my cause future customers to pass on looking deeper into the company and its products and capabilities...
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