COMM 404: Blog Post #3

  • In his book Don’t Make Me Think, usability expert Steve Krug introduces a simple test to determine whether a page is truly usable: the Trunk Test. As Krug puts it:

    Imagine that you’ve been blindfolded and locked in the trunk of a car, then driven around for a while and dumped on a page somewhere deep in the bowels of a web site. If the page is well designed, when your vision clears you should be able to answer these questions without hesitation: What site is this? (Site ID)

    1. What page am I on? (Page name)
    2. What are the major sections of this site? (Sections)
    3. What are my options at this level? (Local Navigation)
    4. Where am I in the scheme of things? (“You are here” indicators)
    5. How can I search?

Site #1: Flower Gardening Made Easy

  1. I believe this link took me to the home page, with a small logo in the top right corner of the site that says Flower Gardening Made Easy and the title is Flowering Trees and Shrubs to Beautify Your Garden.  There is also a slogan below the title that says “Expert tips for a more beautiful garden.”  The font is very small and is not responsive when changing the size of the page, it stays the same size when expanding and shrinking the window.  It is a little confusing because there is a large add at the top for Apartments.com, and the title is below it.
  2. There are a few different sections throughout this page.  They are not capitalized consistently and are green, but not very prominent. There is not a navigation bar on this webpage which makes it a little more difficult to find things. The different sections scrolling through the home page are:
    • Using small trees and shrubs in your garden:
    • Choosing woody plants that will thrive
    • Consider plant diversity
  3. In the first section there is a hyperlink for the words like lilacs, hydrangeas and rhododendrons that takes you to pages about growing these plants. On the bottom of the site there is a section that has links to other “attractive shrubs for your garden” and “care tips.” On the right side of the site there is a search bar and other various sections about flowering gardening, know-how, plants, garden tips, garden shopping, more information and the option to subscribe to updates.
  4. I believe as far as the site, this page is the home page because when you click on the logo of the site in the top left corner, it does’t take you to another home page.  I also  like the color scheme of the website and feel green it is fitting being that it is a gardening website.  Despite this, the white background is pretty bland and I feel they could’ve made it more appealing to users that are not blind.
  5. To search on the site, there is a search bar that appears on the righthand side of the webpage when you first open the site. The search bar moves to the bottom of the page when the window is shrunken down, which confused me a little at first because I initially thought it just disappeared.

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Site #2: Arthur Rackham

  1. The link took me to a website called artpassions.net, a portion of the site about the artist Arthur Rackham.
  2. There are a few different sections throughout this webpage. I think they are broken up in the navigation bar into Main Art Passions Index, Book Finder, FAQ, Print and Poster Finder, Rackam Art Prints, Rackham, Calendars and Necessities, and More Cards and Calendars.
  3. At this point of the site, there are options to click on the different sections in the navigation bar that take you to different points of the website.  There are also hyperlinks attached to certain text when you scroll down the page, but it is unclear which words these are.  They aren’t dignified with bold or different colored text, so it is almost something where the user would just have to try a few different words to figure out which ones actually are attached to a link. This is very confusing and I’m sure a lot of content in this webpage is never found by users that aren’t familiar with the website.
  4. The location or “scheme” of this particular page is deep into the Art Passions Website.  I do  like the color palette of the website and the graphic on the side of the page, although there is a lot of text and pictures throughout the site which may be a bit overwhelming for some users.  The text is also very inconsistent throughout the site, which is confusing and doesn’t really flow.  All the text is the same color and maybe breaking the headings up with different boldnesses would be beneficial to break up the text a bit.  It is a very content heavy website.
  5. There are three different search options for this site to look for other Rackham posters and prints. They are Artsy Craftsy, AllPosters.com and Art.com.  The user has to scroll all the way to the bottom of the site to find the search bars, and initially I didn’t realize there even was a search option.

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Site #3: Exploring the North

  1. The link took me to a website called exploringthenorth.com and the title of the website is Upper Peninsula of Michigan Suggested Fall Color Tours.
  2. The main page is divided into different categories Western Upper Peninsula and Keweenaw Peninsula, Central Upper Peninsula, and Eastern Upper Peninsula.  At the very top of the page there is a subhead that says Color is usually best the last two weeks of September and the first week or two of October.  I’m not entirely sure if this is actually supposed to be a heading because it is way too long, but it is a larger typeface than the paragraph that follows.
  3. There are many different hyperlinks on the site and they are bright blue and underlined.  Although it helps clarify which words are actual links, the brightness of the blue distracts from the written content of the site because it is on such a white background. At the bottom of the page there are more links that take the user to a map of the upper peninsula, visitor information, and email address as well as back links to the recreation page, etc.
  4. I believe this link took me to a portion of the exploring the north website, so the Upper Peninsula is not the the homepage  It isn’t extremely clear because there isn’t any sort of navigation bar at the top of the site.
  5. There is a site search engine at the bottom of the page, that takes you to another page with a tiny search engine on the top.

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