SITE ONE - BBC News
The BBC News website is easily identifiable because it it highly informative; the bright red header reading ‘news’ is one of the main focal points because the colour is often considered with urgency, relating directly to news headlines; and there are many visible and user-friendly buttons to click on upon your first glance on the site.
Again is vital for the design to be simple due to the high volume of content on this site – and this is successfully done by the use of a legible font and short headlines to catch the user’s attention. The users may also be drawn towards the abundance of media that is used within articles too.
When testing for responsiveness, there seemed to be suitable versions for desktop, tablet and mobile. All of these are able to convert into a simpler format with ease and without errors that may affect the user experience.
As this is an informative site, the only calls-to-action are the ‘Read More’ buttons, resulting in a guaranteed user engagement.
There is an efficient use of responsive grid-work within this website which helps to convey the various news stories in a clear and professional manner. There is minimal whitespace because, again, there is so much information to cover on a news site that it is very densely packed. In addition to this, at first glance I would suspect that there is a standard 12 grid column used.
SITE TWO - The University of Glasgow
The University of Glasgow’s website is identifiable from the statement of “Scottish University of the Year” being at eye level on all versions – desktop, tablet and mobile. It is also clear due to the use of a basic monochromatic colour palette allowing the main logo in the top left-hand side corner to stand out. It appears to have a very traditional feel to the site – from the use of san serif fonts and simplicity - which aids in learning that it is a very traditional University.
With the majority target audience being undergraduates aged 18-21, I would say the site isn’t visually appealing enough to draw in anyone’s attention. Perhaps an array of colours would be more suiting for this specific point.
This site is responsive, showing minimal differences when switching between the various versions. All versions are again able to convert into a simpler format with ease and without errors that may affect the user experience.
There are calls-to-action such as ‘click to find out more’ and ‘search here’ that are clearly labelled in appropriate places.
This website has a responsive grid system of potentially 12-15 columns going by the desktop version. There is quite a lot of whitespace present which could have been filled with an eye-catching background, such as campus views – perhaps with reduced opacity to still keep within the theme of simplicity. Navigation is fairly straightforward with the aid of main buttons featured in the header, along with a search bar.
SITE THREE - Visit Aberdeenshire
Visit Aberdeenshire’s website has improved greatly over the years. From previously having a lot of whitespace, they have since used the technique of using a black background as this helps to add depth without the clutter. I would suspect that a standard 12 grid column is used, too.
Navigating around the page is made easy due to having a main menu located in the site’s header (and a burger menu located in the top right-hand corner of the mobile version.)
The calls-to-action present on this site are the likes of ‘plan your trip’ and a feature called ‘My Abdn’. This allows the user to engage with the site by favouriting (or ‘hearting’) certain pages for review after exploring the page.
In addition, when testing for responsiveness, suitable versions of the site for desktop, tablet and mobile were in fully working order. All of these are able to convert into a simpler format with ease and without errors that may affect the user experience.
Tourists are the main target audience for Visit Aberdeenshire’s site, and in my opinion, they should be able to draw them in successfully. The colour palette may be of aid in this because the yellow text is able to stand out and contrast with the dark background – it is visually appealing, yet simple too.
In conclusion, I would say that Visit Aberdeenshire’s site is immediately identifiable with the use of vibrant images and text in addition to bold titles and short pieces of information at a time – together urging the user to explore deeper into the site. Although it is an informative site in general, it cleverly uses techniques – such as ‘My Abdn’ – to reduce the bore-factor meaning users are actually able to interact with some site functions rather than reading paragraphs on end.