Here is a brief critique of a couple of popular sites with regards to design and usability.
1.) www.commarts.com- a designer’s informational site. You might recognize it as it is the best graphic design magazine in Barnes and Nobles priced at $15. But here online, it’s free and it’s just as packed with useful information...
2.) www.tripadvisor.com- a traveler’s site. My friends use it often when they go out of the country. It helps you plan your trip step by step so your time is not wasted...
3.) www.amazon.com- an online shopper’s site. Everyone has been to this site. It started out with books and it’s expanded to sell everything including groceries...
www.commarts.com- a designer’s informational site. You might recognize it as being the best graphic design magazine in Barnes and Nobles priced at $14.95. But here online, it’s free and it’s just as packed with useful information.
It’s great because every day they feature fresh designers in the world of Illustration, Print, Web, Interactive developers, Exhibits and many more categories. The design of the site show cases the designers that are featured. To keep their brand identity they use skinny fonts for the headers, similar to that of their logo. They use only “green” for the title of the article or beginning of the paragraph. All other colors are grey, black and white. Keeping it simple really makes the designers work stand out. The navigation is across the top and the slick drop down menus keep the site up to date. They also have a “News” section on the right panel so you can know what everyone is talking about and stay educated in your field.
www.tripadvisor.com- a traveler’s site. My friends use it often when they go out of the country. It helps you plan your trip step by step so your time is not wasted.
Tripadvisor is really easy to use. It’s broken up into only 2 sections, the first being your trip and where you are going and the second is where others have gone and how they reviewed it. It’s not bogged down with any ads or sponsors. The colors are simple and stay consistent, green and orange. The pages load fast so you can compare different options easily. It seems like they didn’t miss any stops putting this site together either, it has just about every location and hundreds of reviews on that location. What you choose is also rated, so you can read the good and the bad. You can really spend hours researching your destination, which is great. Once you find your perfect trip you can buy everything right there.
www.amazon.com- an online shopper’s site. Everyone has been to this site. It started out with books and it’s expanded to sell everything including groceries.
The design, is great for SEO. This is product site and that is all you see. Pick a category and a plethora of items are at your disposal. The color scheme changed from green and tan to bright orange and blue, it is now very masculine looking. My eyes wander all over the page, my eye is not drawn to the product as it should be. All the headers and titles are orange, copy is blue and black. This color scheme is used throughout every department and is quit boring. They are forgetting the hierarchy of the page, consistency without being drab and how great a little negative space can be.
Once you get past the lack of design put forth on this site, the usability is excellent. This site has saved many students hundreds of dollars in book fees. Once you find the product you searched for you have the option of choosing it “used” which can save you up to 50%. Amazon’s definition of “used” is the corner was creased, or it was on the book shelf. So everything is always in great condition, you buy books like that from Barnes and Noble all the time, why not cheaper? Check out is a breeze, they store your account information, and most times shipping is free.