Essay Writing Help on Evaluating Websites

Evaluating Websites

The aspect of marketing forms an integral part of any organization. Promotional activities are often assumed due to the need to inform various stakeholders to the organization about the operation levels of the organization. In line with the need for marketing activities, firms have opted for more competitive marketing strategies that would encourage effectiveness. Owing to the need to integrate high technologies in the organization, the use of various online platforms in reaching out to the external environment has been adopted in a number of sectors. Among the online platforms that organizations often adopt for marketing activities is the organization website. The use of websites allows for constant communication between the organization and a number of stakeholders. Additionally, the users are effectively able to access a number of facets concerning the organization. In the process of designing the website to be used by the organization, there is need to closely take into consideration an array of aspects that will allow for effectiveness and efficiency in the usage (Stiff, James and Paul  222). Among the aspects that should be taken into close consideration are the usability and the persuasiveness. The aspect of usability explicates that there should be ease of access and usage. Unnecessary sophistications that could compromise the usages should be eliminated during the design activities. On the other hand, the aspect of persuasiveness will allow for users to be attracted to the services of the organization posted on the website. A number of key factors to be considered in the design of organization’s website will be extensively elucidated in the paper. An example of two organizations’ websites will be considered in order to allow for further explanations into the most desirable aspects to be integrated. In the study of the design activities, the need to allow for the maximum utility among the users should also be allowed. Generally, the design should allow user experience.

Features of a good website

Among the features that should be integrated in an effective website include desired appearance, content, functionality, usability and effective search engine.

Appearance

In terms of appearance, website can be used to uphold the public image of the enterprise. An attractive site will help in giving a positive image of the organization hence individuals will be attracted to the usage of various commodities of the organization. Owing to the high number of sites of various companies within the online domain, an attractive site will ensure that the organization is outstanding among other premises (Kuniavsky, Mike, Elizabeth and Andrea 498). On the other hand, in the event that the organization has not taken keen consideration of the appearance, the results will be poor public image as the poor site can be misinterpreted as general substandard quality of all organization aspects. In developing the most attractive appearance, certain guidelines should assumed by the design team (Stiff, James and Paul  238).

Initially, there should be good color selection. It is recommended that a bright color to be adopted for the web designs as these would influence the element of attractiveness. Similarly, in the event that multiple colors are selected, proper matching should be allowed to achieve effective blending. The appearance of the site should also be perfected in relation to the visibility of the texts. In most cases, combination of black and white colors will allow for easy visibility. Additionally, large fonts of the range 10 – 12 will allow for easy visibility. Third, the element of entertainment for users should be allowed through the use of attractive graphics. Graphics will help in explaining further the content of the website. However, too much use of graphics should be eliminated as they may water-down the message to be relayed. Finally, the appearance should manifest high levels of simplicity (Barnes, Susan, Sheree and Mark 354). Adequate white space should be allowed for individuals to focus on the message. The layout should also manifest simplicity as this will encourage analysis by the users.

Content

The most vital aspect of the website is the content. It is through the content that individual users of the website will get to make rational decisions. As a result of this, there is need for proper analysis of the aspects to be integrated in the content before they are posted. The information most users should be made available in the content. The content should be very direct and precise to allow for easy access of the desired information. In coming up with the content of the website, among the considerations that the team should adopt include:

  1. Constant updates: The website should be regularly updated in order to reflect the changes in the operations of the firm and the industry as a whole. Users will be enticed to constantly access the site due to new key information pertaining to a number of changes. On the other hand, availability of common information in the site for a long duration of time will tend to discourage visitors due to the static nature of the site.
  2. Diction: The choice of wording to be used in the content is key as this can either promote or taint the general image of the organization. In this regard, an official tone should be always assumed as this will in most cases auger well with individuals form diverse sectors.
  3. Always consider the pros: Owing to the publicity that the site offers, there is need to always take into consideration the pros at the expense of the cons regarding the organization as this will help in promoting the good image of the entity. However, the content should be genuine and should reflect the real condition of the organization in order to eliminate cases of misguidance.

Functionality

The development of the site should revolve around the functionality in order to allow both easy access and effectiveness in usage. All the components of the site should be made to quickly operate in order to prevent any form of frustrations that the users can be subjected to in the course of usage. Among the items that will influence the functionality include the hyperlinks, contact data, search engines and the registration process. In the event that biometric data are required for access, the system should allow for faster detection of these data (Bate, Paul and Glenn 321).

Usability

The aspect of usability can be closely related to the functionality of the website. Usability of the site will pertain to the ability of the users to freely navigate across the site. Usability is the most critical aspect of the site and the management should ensure effectiveness (Goldstein, Noah, Robert and Steve 100). Some of the central aspects of usability include:

  1. Loading speed: The site should easily be accessed. Heavy pages will not be desirable for sites. Approximately, the page should load in 20 seconds through dial – up application.
  2. Minimal scroll: Every page of the site should carry a lot of content in order to minimize scrolling. This can be integrated through the use of various links to further elucidate every aspect. Through this aspect, users will get extensive information without too much scrolling.
  3. Layout: There should be consistency in the layout in all the pages. Through this, the users will easily connect the contents.
  4. Browser compatibility: The site should manifest compatibility with a number of commonly used browsers. In this connection, there should be extensive tests to ascertain if the content of the sites can be displayed when various browsers are used.

Apart from the explained factors, there are still an array of factors that organizations should constantly take into consideration in order to allow the websites to meet the immediate needs of the customers. Companies have various ways in which they achieve the aspect of user experience (Lawrence and Soheyla 276). However, the use of market search often aids organizations to determine the needs of the customers in order to identify other aspects to include in the website. In line with this, we shall consider the design criteria adopted by both Apple Corporation and Samsung Company. In the website design procedures, organizations often consider factors in connection with the general efficiency as illustrated in the diagram below.


Apple Company

As illustrated above, the company over the years has maximized in users accessing lot information from a single page. This is shown by the availability of a number of links that lead users to other sites expounding on the same subject. The company has also constantly considered the use of various graphics in the site in order to allow for attractiveness. Most specifically, the use of the company’s emblem, an apple, has been used in all the pages within the website. This greatly helps the company to maintain its brand among the users besides remaining outstanding in the industry. Apart from the aspect of graphical integration, the organization has over the years adopted hourly updates of the site in order to reflect the changing dynamics of the industry. The use of white and black colorations has also shaped the design activities of the companies (Sauro and James 546). Through large white pages, the organization allows for users comments regarding various products offered. This has seen the organization constantly improve the site in order to meet the changing demands of the consumers.

In 2006, Apple Company adopted the use of contrasting information in the websites in order to attract more visitors. Fostering this information is the use of short and precise remarks that entice users in reading the texts.

In relation to the compatibility of the site, the content of the company’s website can be accessed through the use of a number of browsers.

Samsung Company

Owing to the competition in the electronics industry, competing firms are involved in striving to adopt the most desirable and efficient websites. Samsung Company for a long period been involved in stiff competition with Apple Corporation. The company has often considered the aspect of simplicity in the design procedures of the website, which has seen constant posting of short and catchy remarks concerning the company’s commodities basically to entice consumers. Among the statements that became popular in the site include: “The world is not flat. So Why Yours?” “Remake it Meaningful”. These statements characterized the introduction of Samsung S5 into the market (Goldstein, Robert and Steve 126). Similar to Apple Company, the organization has often attempted to use a lot of graphics of the products in order to entice the visitors into the usage of the commodities. However, unlike Apple Company, Samsung Company has not often provided users of the site with options to react to various issues posted on the site. As a result of this, a number of statistics puts Apple Company better placed in terms of presentation of matters pertaining to its consumers on the website.

Recommendation

There are certain factors that became pronounced in the case study of the two companies explained. There are certain weaknesses manifested that should be improved in order to realize more effectiveness. Initially, extensive market research is key at all levels in order to aid the organizations in posing contents that are desired by the site users (Sauro and James 89). Apart from market research, in the event of operation in a competitive industry, there is need for firms to consider the lines of designs assumed by immediate competing firms so as to pose favorable competition. Proper management and the constant redesign of the websites requires big funds. As such, institutions should undertake prior financial budgeting to prevent cases of financial distress resulting from adoption expensive design practices. This will also help ensure that all the necessary aspects are taken into consideration. Finally, owing to the wide demands for proper website designs, organizations should employ individuals with high expertise to manage these sites. Through this, possible errors that could jeopardize the public image of the organization would be curbed.

Works Cited

Barnes, Susan B, Sheree Josephson, and Mark Lipton.Visualizing the Web: Evaluating Online Design from a Visual Communication Perspective. New York: Peter Lang, 2010. Print.

Bate, Paul, and Glenn B. Robert. Bringing User Experience to Healthcare Improvement: The Concepts, Methods and Practices of Experience-Based Design. Oxford: Radcliffe Pub, 2007. Internet resource.

Goldstein, Noah, Robert B. Cialdini, and Steve Martin.Yes!: 50 Secrets from the Science of Persuasion. London: Profile Books, 2007. Internet resource.

Kuniavsky, Mike, Elizabeth Goodman, and Andrea Moed. Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner’s Guide to User Research. Waltham, MA: Morgan Kaufmann, 2012. Internet resource.

Lawrence, Dave, and SoheylaTavakol. Balanced Website Design: Optimizing Aesthetics, Usability and Purpose. New York: Springer, 2007. Print.

Sauro, Jeff, and James R. Lewis.Quantifying the User Experience: Practical Statistics for User Research. Amsterdam: Elsevier/Morgan Kaufmann, 2012. Internet resource.

Stiff, James B, and Paul A. Mongeau. Persuasive Communication. New York: Guilford Press, 2003. Print.