Week 4 Usability and First Blog Post

09 Sep

Week 4 More Usability and Some Navigation
Read Don’t Make Me, Introduction & Chaps. 1-5

Due Tues. Required blog comment about findings of a usability analysis of a portfolio or personal brand website (can be same as that where you discussed branding, week 2, or a new one from my “examples” tab). Use this and ask a friend who doesn’t hasn’t seen the site before to be your “test subject.”  Watch a usability test by your book’s author in action here.

Take notes on the script, but just post your findings as a comment:100-150 words summary of what you learned about the organization of the site and its “usability.” To earn full credit the comment must include two hyperlinks (that work) to specific pages of the test site that back up what you are saying about it. You must also use terms from this week’s readings to show you understand them. Be prepared to share your findings in class.

Due Thurs.: Blog post #1 A Few of My Favorite Blogs (at least 3 analyzed).
In-class Lab: Editing Workshop, Your Blog Post webwritingannotation

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Posted by on September 9, 2013 in Assignment


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9 responses to “Week 4 Usability and First Blog Post

  1. Codi Mast

    September 16, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    From the tests I have learned a couple different things.
    First, people like what catches their eye. My first person liked their site because it was “eye-catching.” They liked the simplicity, the graphic. Chelsea followed the hierarchy of the page, and read what was important first. The name, and the “still want to know more?” blurb on the right is used to grab attention and direct the audience. (ex. ) I also learned that about business and noise. I reviewed Jayme’s portfolio with Savannah. She seemed to go through the pages much quicker. By the way she was talking, there was a lot of content to look at but because there was so much –she wasn’t particularly interested in one. I think that hurts the profile; there isn’t something demanding attention but a lot of small things asking for it. (ex. )

  2. Kendra Schwarz

    September 16, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    As I did the usability test with Elyse, we used the blog, This is the blog I mentioned in class. Excitingly enough, Elyse loved it too! She thought it was very easy to navigate. The tabs at the top provided information exactly like they read. We clicked home after going to Little Dog,, and Our Wedding and it took us directly to the home page. The Run tab was cut and dry. It listed her marathons she had partaken in and gave pictures. It was exactly what it said ( and went along with the rest of the website perfectly. Elyse liked the layout and the color contrast. Observing the layout there was no background noise. It was simple, plain and looked clean and crisp. There were straight-to-the-point tabs which helped in grouping information which allowed for less busyness.Simplicity is good and makes for a user-friendly website.

  3. Josh Overholser

    September 17, 2013 at 10:16 am

    I had my test person look at Aaron Rhinehart’s blog ( from the class, “Stuck in the Middle.” The first comment she made was that it looked professional and simple. She could tell it was Aaron Rhinehart’s blog, and when asked what she thought the blog was about, she said, “Aaron Rhinehart, a broadcasting student, an Ohio sports fan stuck between Cincinnati and Cleveland.” So far so good.

    She also liked the contrast of blue titles with orange links. The first item she was enticed to click on was “It Begins Here.” After doing so, it only showed the item on the homepage (the sticky), so she found this unnecessary as a link ( Other complaints were that she couldn’t tell immediately if the blog was just about baseball or other sports as well. She knew it was sports from a central Ohio perspective, but she wanted to know more and couldn’t quickly tell. Aaron was probably expecting readers to scan the page and click the options he wanted them too, but as our book points out, people often pick the first reasonable option, known as satisficing. The first reasonable option would seem to be “It Begins Here,” but that link essentially gets you nowhere.

    In conclusion, my test person liked the overall layout, contrast colors, easy usability (easy to understand), and simplicity of the site. Her recommendations are to change the “It Begins Here” tab, add more content more frequently, and make it clear that it isn’t just about baseball from the beginning.

  4. gracelenehan

    September 17, 2013 at 11:27 am

    For my usability test, I used a random website that I found called This site is basically music and celebrity news, with Top 40 music in particular. My usability test subject Allie had a few things to say about the site. The first thing that she noted is that that home page was a bit overwhelming.

    There were just a lot of different pictures, tabs, and links to look at, and it was just very busy.
    The first thing that caught her eye was an ad at the very top for Avicii’s new album. There was a place where you could click play on a little video that showed a quick ad. The ad was what she was expecting.
    The second thing that caught her eye was a bold red banner about halfway down the page that read, “Get a sneak peak at the new Idolator.”

    She then clicked on that link which took her the apparent new website. This site wasn’t any better organized than the first one, and frankly I think it just confused her at to why there were two websites in first place. She then clicked the back button and went back to the first website. From there she browsed the video for about 5 minutes, listened to part of Britney Spears’ new song, and then was done with the whole thing.
    Overall, the website was very busy. So from the “Don’t Make Me Think” book, I think the busyness factor was this website’s biggest downfall.

  5. aliciacontrascier

    September 17, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    These are 2 websites that I feel that exemplifies good usability. On both these occasions, you don’t have to think too much. There aren’t a lot of useless words that tend to just bore the readers. Also, especially in the second one, the happy talk is actually relevant to an avid reader instead of just a random “thanks for coming to my page” which is pretty annoying and I don’t know anyone that would actually read it. considering we don’t usually read pages, we skim them, I feel that both of these are eye catching and make you want to read more. I feel I am biased because i’m a public relations major, but that’s not the point.

    In the script, my tester said she knew where to go and didn’t seem confused by the website. The next thing she wanted to click on was another blog post or a picture to maximize it. it could be faster to get back to the home page though which is useful information for the future.

  6. victoriakonkle

    September 17, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    What I found out about the websites usability was that it was fairly easy to use. The website is a photographer who takes weddings, family, and senior photographs. The home screen consisted of a slide show of a few pictures she has taken letting you get a feel of her pictures before hand. She has tabs up top which are labeled seniors. Once you click on the tab it will take you to her gallery of senior pictures she has taken.
    This is the same for the weddings tab and families tab. You can find her contact information on the bottom in the left hand corner. If there is unanswered questions check out the FAQ tab which has many questions answered there. All in all the website I was easily manageable and was able to drawn in the person. It was easy to look over as well so everything was understandable.

  7. Brien Hodgson

    September 17, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    This blog is all about the Cleveland Indians and when my tester visited this site I learned several things about usability. First, any internet user’s eye gets hung up on flashy things or maybe even pictures and that’s what this tester did as well. He went right to recent photos taken of recent games. This site has there dashboard or navigation tab laid out really well. the tester clarified to me that it was not hard to look around and find what was needed and that they could tell what the blog was about when first entering the site. The user as well as I love the podcasts and videos within the blogs because it makes it much easier to follow and to gain information without reading. Web users like to skim… or watch videos!

    All in all this site is very well operated and managed and the tester did what most users do, go right to the catchy stuff and leave the rest behind. Tester also thought that maybe the site could be a little brought down as far as content goes but overall a very good blog!

  8. My Life

    September 17, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    The site that I used for my friends usability Women’s ESPN website. Though she was able to roam around the site with ease it and was able to point out the sight pretty well there were some huge things that went wrong. First, she did not even recognize what the name of the site was; she thought it was the women’s basketball site not Women’s ESPN website. She was not really interested in the constant for the most part but when she did find something that she liked it did not give her the correct information. So though the site was good for use, for finding certain things, the one thing that she wanted to read about did not give good information.

  9. Jessica

    September 19, 2013 at 10:22 am

    The most usable website (personal portfolio) I chose to analyze was For me personally, I feel that this website is not only easy access but to move around on the website. Mike Cirelli is an aspiring graphic designer and on his first page his personal portfolio his personal logo that he designed. His website also does not have many confusing drop bars, it is very straight forward and depending on what you are looking for. For example, if you are looking for his personal resume there is a very top bar to take you right to his resume. This can also be done if you are looking for his designs, writings, headlines, or contact information.


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