Essay: Critical Evaluation of the Website

By | April 28, 2011

Sample Essay

The website of Domestic Appliance Service is a good example of how not to design a website. The website follow minimum human factors website design principles which make it lose its appeal and effectiveness in the delivery of information and purpose for which it was made. Most importantly, the website fails to deliver its purpose in an effective manner, which was to provide its users with a way to locate and buy spare parts for their household appliances in a quick and efficient manner (Lawrence and Tavakol 2007).

Since all the information on the website regarding the spare parts is either non-existent or is difficult to locate, the website fails to motivate its users to use it on long term basis. The website also has missing graphics and does not employ a standard for buttons, links and pictures which makes it difficult for users to not navigate but also reduces the appeal of the website appearance. Furthermore, the website also lacks a particular task flow, which makes the website difficult to learn. This means that the website design does not take into consideration the psychological factor that human do not prefer websites that do not clearly explain to them what is expected from them. In addition, the lack of architecture of the website makes its very difficult for user to locate the piece of information that they require, hence a part locating task which should be simple and quick requires 5-10 click plus significant patience from them (Lumsden 2008). The existing page on the website do not have a standard position for buttons as well as graphics, hence it leave users searching for buttons on every page which irritates the user.

The design of the website also does not take into consideration that the technology expertise of all users are not same. Hence, by using third party plug-in on various pages, the website actually restricts the user from make good use of the website. The use of third party plug-in also means that the website might serve its purpose on some browsers while becoming totally useless on others (Human Factors 2010). The website also does not appeal to its user as it does not make use of graphics or multimedia to deliver information. This deprives the website from delivering information in a more effective manner with the help of graphics. Also the large gaps between different sections of the home page make scrolling necessary. This requires user to perform scrolling up or down in order to access different parts of the page which is something the user would avoid doing on regular basis (Khosrowpour 2001).  The website also makes use of traffic counter, however, the use of this web counter is only limited to the first page of the website, hence, the counter cannot be use to determine which pages on the websites catch the interest of the users and which do not. On the other hand, the aspects of the design which can be appreciated are its fast loading time and its facilitation of user to differentiate between visited and non-visited links. Since the website does not make extensive use of graphics or multimedia, this reduces the website loading time to less than 5 seconds which could become one of the reasons that the user might prefer to use this website. Furthermore, the differentiation between visited and non-visited links gives ease of mind to the user psychologically as the user does not have to visit the same link again (Brinck, Gergle and Wood 2002).

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