I have never thought about how websites are designed and the usability of them before starting this assignment. But, I think usability is very important and there have been websites I don’t stay on because they are too complex and confusing. When looking at the 100 Gallons website I was asked to judge the usability for this website.
When you first log on the main page looks very simple and all you really see is a play button for a video. I clicked on the video link and the video took you through many scenes of how humans use water. After the video was complete, a bunch of pictures were brought up. When you scrolled over the pictures, the pictures would dim and text would appear over the picture. There was a total of 19 pictures all with different links they would take you to. I didn’t want to go through all of the links, so I scrolled over a few of them and found one that seemed interesting to me. The first link I clicked on was Heavy Skies. I clicked on this link because it had an interesting headline talking about how heavy clouds are compared to blue whales. After this I went back to the picture collage and scrolled over a few pictures without clicking on them. The ones I scrolled over were Fractured and Dry Promises. The next link I went over(and clicked one) was The Cloud Juicer. This link showed you a video on how a guy actually bottles rainwater. After watching this video, I scrolled over the Blog link and tried clicking on it a few times. It didn’t work and I also noticed that the Staff Editorial page also didn’t work. After this, I noticed the 10 minutes of searching was done.
With my navigation, I didn’t really encounter many problems. I think it was fairly easy to navigate for me. There was not a lot of navigation to do and all you had to do was scroll over pictures and click on them. It was a simple design and very easy to navigate, there was no scrolling at all. The only problems I encountered were again the few links I couldn’t click on and also not being able to hit the back button. To go back to the main page you had to “X” out of the page when I usually just click the back button. It wasn’t a big deal, just more of an inconvenience.
When looking for the contact information of the creators of the site, it was very easy for me. You click on the picture About Powering a Nation, then at the end of the page it gave you a link to click on saying “see more about the staff.”
When asking my friend to conduct the utility test, they seemed to go on a different pattern than I did. During the 10 minute presentation I asked my friend to write down their thoughts about the site and why they chose to go where they were going. Mainly the only thing they would say is interesting facts and nothing about the design and usability of the website. The first link my friend clicked on was Is It Safe to Drink . The reason my friend gave was because they were concerned with how polluted water affects them. Also this was the very top right link on the page. The next page my friend went to was Purest of them All because after reading the headline she was interesting in finding out about how we compare water to our own saliva. The next link she clicked on was Waterparks because she said she was fascinated with them and wanted to read more about how much water was used. The final link my friend clicked on was Every Drop. Again the reason this link was clicked on was because the headline interested her and she wanted to see more. The only navigation problem my friend encountered was that the “Staff Editorial” page didn’t work which was the same problem I was having. But, overall she really liked the navigation of the page and thought it seemed smooth and easy. My friend seemed to have more trouble than I did with finding contact information. She didn’t think it was going to be in one of the pictures and tried to scroll around and even at one point went back to the main video page. Overall it took her roughly 3-4 minutes to find this contact information.
When looking at me and my friends experience on the site, I found it to be very interesting. For one, we both clicked on links that we found to be interesting. We would scroll over the pictures and read the headlines before clicking on the link. So, in this way we were similar. The thing I found interesting was the fact that we didn’t click on one link that was the same. I don’t know how this person is my friend because we share none of the same interests! So overall we were similar in the fact that we clicked on things we found interesting, but different in what we viewed. We also thought navigation was very easy and had no trouble getting around.
3 Things that Should Not Change
- Navigation – Real simple and easy to get from link to link
- Appearance – The overall look of the website was appealing and pictures drew you in
- Content – Didn’t overwhelm you with a bunch of text. Mostly pictures and videos
3 Things that Should Change
- Glitches – Some of the links didn’t work: Blog and Staff Editorial
- Transparency – On some of the links, white text would be shown and be really hard to read
- Mission Statement – I didn’t really know the cause of the website, just the fact that it was showing all the ways we use water. Looking fro something to explain the purpose of the website.
To Contact Powering a Nation click here.
Until next time…