Local Website Analysis

Description
This is a local website analysis ( I provide the website URL in the outline word document) . I provide the outline for the project and the instructions.

The references are simply a website URL that replated to the “Strength or weekness”.

THERE SHOULD BE NO QUOTES, ONLY ORIGINAL THOUGHT.

Each student will select a local company?s website to analyze. The following resources should be used to analyze these websites (The Website MUST HAVE a newsletter or blog):
? Online research of each individual topic ? this research should comprise the majority of your report ? links should be provided to articles used in this area

The research will be divided into four (4) individual modules. The modules are as follows:
? Module I ? Initial Impression of Website

Deliverables:
? References are simply the URL link that relates to strength or weakness.
? NO QUOTES / ONLY ORIGINAL THOUGHT
? Overview – Each Module has required deliverables.
? Strengths & Weaknesses ? You can use the headings ?Strengths & Weaknesses? and then use bullet points under each one. Remember it does not have to be a complete sentence
? References – Each component should include a ?minimum? of 3 references from your research. All research should be done online. Include the title to the article and the link to the online document.
? Suggestions for Improvements ? Provide an overview and then bullet points
? Overall Impression ? This section must be complete sentences and paragraphs. Do not use bullet points

MODULE I INITIAL IMPRESSION OF WEBSITE

Module Objective

What is your ?Initial Impression? when you first open the organization’s website? Researchers estimate it only takes less than a few seconds for visitors to form a first impression of a website. The opinion they form determines whether they will stay on the site or just immediately abandon it. If the first impression is positive, visitors are stimulated to explore and remain on the site longer. Is it visually appealing? Are the colors pleasing and are the fonts a size that makes the site easy to read? Is it necessary to scroll ?below the fold? to find information? ?Below the fold? is the area of a web page that requires the viewer to scroll down in order to access information. For many visitors if they can?t find the information when they first open the site without scrolling, they quickly abandon the site. At first glance, can visitors clearly understand the ?focus/objective? of the website?

Deliverables ? provide in a bulleted format the ?Strengths? and ?Weaknesses? of each individual Deliverable. The Overall Impression should be approximately 250-500 words in paragraph format:
? Organizational Branding (10)
? Navigation (10)
? Search Function (10)
? URL/Domain Name (10)
? Organizational Logo (10)
? Website Tabs (10)
? Summary of Findings (20)
? Suggestions for Improvement (20)

Organizational Branding (10)
Does the name of the site provide ?Organizational Branding?? An organization?s brand is how customers define the company. It is the message the customer perceives when they arrive at the organization?s website. What is the Purpose of the Website? When visitors come to the website, is it easy for them to understand exactly the purpose of the website? If they can?t immediately understand the purpose of the website, it is unlikely that they will hang around and search for clarification. What are the Products or Services are provided by the organization? At first glance visitors should immediately understand the products and services provided by the organization. Does the website effectively ?Brand the Image? of the organization? The organization?s website is the virtual address of the company and its face for both employees and customers.

Navigation (10 points)
How easy is it to ?Navigate? the website? If the website is not easy to Navigate, visitors will not search and explore the site for information about the company and/or its products and services. Is Navigation throughout the website consistent? When visitors go from page to page, it is important for the website to have a consistent look, feel, and operation. Is there a link back to the ?Home? page from all the other areas and pages on the website? Visitors often get lost on a website and want to have a ?Home? tab easily accessible to get them back to the main page of the website. If visitors get lost and have trouble getting back, they will abandon the site. Does the website provide a ?Bread Crumb Trail? to guide first time visitors? Bread Crumb Trail is a row of links that provide the website structure. If visitors get lost, this helps guide them around the website. For example if a visitor comes to your site via an article or blog, they are able to follow the ?Bread Crumb Trail back to the Main page of the website.

Does the website have a ?Search? function? After spending the time to make a website attractive, easy to navigate and use, it is extremely important to have a ?Search? function on an organization?s website. Is the ?Search? function easy to find and above the fold of the page? The ?Search? function must be easy to find and accessible to viewers. Most successful websites have the ?Search? function in their banner or close to their ?Tabs.? If the ?Search? function is not easy to find, viewers can be expected to abandon the website. When using the ?Search? function, does it retrieve the appropriate information you are seeking? Often visitors will search for information within a website and the results they receive are well ?off the mark.? It is important to organize and categorize content so that it can be easily be found by viewers. In most instances viewers will not give the ?Search? tool a second chance. Poorly developed ?Search? tools are one of the quickest ways to lose creditability with viewers.

Search Function (10 points)
Does the website have a ?Search? function? After spending the time to make a website attractive, easy to navigate and use, it is extremely important to have a ?Search? function on an organization?s website. Is the ?Search? function easy to find and above the fold of the page? The ?Search? function must be easy to find and accessible to viewers. Most successful websites have the ?Search? function in their banner or close to their ?Tabs.? If the ?Search? function is not easy to find, viewers can be expected to abandon the website. When using the ?Search? function, does it retrieve the appropriate information you are seeking? Often visitors will search for information within a website and the results they receive are well ?off the mark.? It is important to organize and categorize content so that it can be easily be found by viewers. In most instances viewers will not give the ?Search? tool a second chance. Poorly developed ?Search? tools are one of the quickest ways to lose creditability with viewers.

URL/Domain Name (10 points):
Does the Domain Name reflect the products or services the organization is providing? When choosing your ?Domain Name? it should reflect the product or service you will be providing. For example if you were going to have an information site to provide training and supplies for German shepherds, a good URL/Domain Name might be www.training germanshepherds.com. When readers search for training information on German shepherds, the key words they use will lead search engines directly to your site.
Is the Domain name extremely long and difficult to spell? Often if visitors have problems inputting a Domain name they will abandon the site. The name should be a short as possible. The Domain name should include ?all? lower case letters and refrain from using hyphens, underscores, or spaces between words. These are confusing and hard to remember. c. Is the Domain name easy to remember? You want your visitors to share your site with others. If your Domain name is easy to remember, it will also be easy to share.

Does the website?s URL include the Organization?s name? While many of the domain names may be taken, it is extremely important for organizations to make every effort to have the alignment where organization’s and domain names are the same. Does the Domain Name reflect the products or services the organization is providing? When choosing your ?Domain Name? it should reflect the product or service you will be providing. For example if you were going to have an information site to provide training and supplies for German shepherds, a good URL/Domain Name might be www.training germanshepherds.com. When readers search for training information on German shepherds, the key words they use will lead search engines directly to your site.

Organizational Logo (10 points)
The organizational logo is one of the first things a visitor sees when they come to a website. Are the Logos on the website simple and easy to understand? A simple logo design allows for easy recognition and allows the logo to be versatile & memorable. Good logos feature something unique without being over designed. Is the Logo Memorable? Following closely behind the principle of simplicity, is that of memorability. An effective logo design should be memorable and this is achieved by having a simple, yet, appropriate logo. Is the Logo Timeless? An effective logo should be timeless ? that is, it will endure the ages. Will the logo still be effective in 10, 20, 50 years? Is the Logo Appropriate? How you position the logo should be appropriate for its intended purpose. For example, if the logo is for children?s toys store, it would be appropriate to use a childish font & color scheme. This would not be so appropriate for a law firm.

Website Tabs (10 points)
The purpose of Tabs on a website is for navigation. The Tabs are the user?s interface to explore and find information on a website. It is extremely important to make certain that the website’s Tabs are easily understood and simple to use. Websites should not be ?cute? with the naming of Tabs. The Tabs should be intuitive and easy for readers to understand. At a glance readers should be able to determine the content of the website based on the names of the Tabs. For every major product or service, a Tab should be included.

In most instances Tabs should be organized by importance of the product or service to the organization. For example, the highest volume or the highest margin product would come first, the second highest second and so on. If possible, use the Keywords for the titles of Tabs. This will be beneficial to both readers and search engines. Tabs should be within the top border of your site. They may be above or below the organizational logo. But they must be on the top third of the page when the site opens. Websites should not require readers to search for your Tabs. Put them in a high profile area and make them easily accessible to readers. Limit Tabs to ?One Row!? It is important to try to limit Tabs to one word. Under no circumstances should Tabs exceed two words. When readers are at a desktop computer, drop down menu Tabs are not a problem. However on mobile devices readers will have problems navigating Tabs with drop down menus. Remember the focus of Tabs are all about the website’s readers ? the entire focus of everything on a website should be its readers.

Is there an ?About? tab? The About tab should clearly explain the purpose of the overall organization. Many organizations put their Vision or Mission statement here. It should not be ?corporate speak,? but rather it should reflect the ?soul? of the organization. This is the organization?s opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation with their customers. It should explain in no uncertain terms what the company is ?all about.? It lets the customer know the reason for its existence. Often viewers will go to the ?About? tab before even browsing the website of an organization.

If anything too complicated or confusing, visitors will abandon your site. Tabs are used to divide the information on a website into folders. In the design of Tabs a logical sense of how information should be organized will surface. The Tabs should provide viewers an understanding the products and services offered on the website. For every major product or service there should be a Tab. Often subcategories will be listed under each of the main products or services. The Tabs should be visually pleasing to look at. There are a tremendous number of website applications to customize the look and feel of the Tabs on websites. The choice of Tabs may run from the serious to the fun ones. The choice of Tabs used should be made based on the overall Vision/Mission for the website.

At first glance the reader should be able to easily comprehend how to use the Tabs to explore a website. Try not to deviate from Tabs normally found on the Web. Under no circumstances should a website ?get fancy? in the design of Tabs and risk the possibility of confusing its readers. Confused readers simply abandon the site. Make it perfectly clear to the reader the Tab currently being used. As they move beyond the Home page of the website make certain they can identify the area they are exploring. It is important to have a significant contrast between the Active & In-Active Tabs.

Summary of Findings (20)
This provides an ?in depth? overview of the customer?s website as it currently exists. All members should actively participate in the development of this section. Everything stated in this section should be clearly explained in the previous discussion. This is the ?tough love? section where you explain to the website owner an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of their site.

Suggestions for Improvement (20)
Use an introductory paragraph to explain what you are doing and then list, using bullet points all the things your group feels can be done to improve the website. This section is where your ?provide value? to the website owner. If you were a consultant, this is where you ?earn your money!? Don?t beat around the bush, get directly to what should be done to make significant improvements to the website.

Visitors should immediately understand the focus of an organization?s website. Whether it?s the organization?s logo, URL, or information on the website?s banner, the focus of the website must be clearly articulated to visitors.

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