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Fun Filled Summer with Kings Dominion

The site that I chose to analyze is the Kings Dominion Site (https://www.kingsdominion.com/).

This website’s main purpose is to get people to come visit the theme park, whether that is a day trip or planning to stay over night. The page illustrates 7 main pages with multiple sub-pages under each main page. The logo is at the top left of the website, creating a clickable link that leads you back to the homepage. The website has graphics at the top of the page our filled with information about season passes, dining options, the new soak city (water park), and upcoming festivals. The color scheme of this site is manly blue. It is an all blue background, however the graphics are full of color. At the top of the page their is a green button that reads “Tickets and Season Passes” and takes you to buy tickets now. There is also a  red button that reads “Lodging” and takes you to the lodging page.

The pictures on each page are created for that specific page and sub – page. For example, on the page “Social Networks” the pictures go online with the running Facebook status that the website promotes. Another page that focuses on “Special Events” has a picture of the firework show hosted by Kings Dominion. The pictures help to show what fun of atmosphere that Kings Dominion offers for families with children and adults. Having the same blue background offers a since of congruity when navigating through the different pages. The only time that the background changes is when one looks at the “Dinosaur Live” page, where the background changes to Dinosaur scales. All of these pictures are fun and exciting. The people in the picture are smiling and laughing.

The layout is clear and concise. The pages are clear in what they offer, and what the audience will find on the sub-headings. Another important aspect of the layout is that it is appealing to the audience. Kings Dominion’s layout is to get people to sign – up for season passes for the 2015 year. Season passes are a source of income for Kings Dominion, and so they make it as easy as possible for their audience to buy their tickets and include in adding dining options for people who have the season pass. This layout creates a fun brand for Kings Dominion. It also illustrates a brand that wants to encourage people to come have fun with Kings Dominion by creating an inviting and easy site to use.

Kings Dominion illustrates continuity throughout the site. One of the main methods of continuity is the text. The text is the same on each page. The size and the font is readable to the audience. Another important aspect of continuity is the scroll of pictures. Although each page has a picture that relates to the topic of the page, the layout of the pictures is the same, with the picture at the top and the text below that with a vertical navigation on the left hand side. The navigation is a navigation for all of the sub-pages located underneath the main tab. It is important because each main tab has the same layout with different content.

Like every webpage, their is always room for improvement. One negative aspect of continuity is on the “Dinosaurs Live”  sub – page. This page changes the background completely from a light blue to green Dinosaur scales for the background. This is the only page that changes. In my opinion, I feel that if this background changes then it would be better to change every background. This page makes you feel like you entered a different realm of the website. Although the Kings Dominion has good continuity for the most part another negative aspects occurs on each page. Each page has a lot if information and requires the audience members to scroll down to get all the information.

Webpage Analysis

Do you have a favorite radio station? I can honestly say that my favorite station is one that has country music all the time. I have decided that I am going to compare three different radio stations’ websites and their usability.

 

http://www.wvhl.net/ – 92.9 Kickin’ Country WVHL (Farmville, VA)

Kickin’ Country is a country station located in the Farmville area. The site for this particular is very dark. It has a dark black background with a red border and white text. The header is a picture of fans at a concert. The navigation bar is very clear. It makes it easy to navigate and the sub categories are more concise for the audience as well. The home page has their Facebook and twitter links that take the audience member directly to their page, it also has linked their Facebook statuses to the home page the website. The site is not very desirable in the sense that majority of the pages have too much information. The site is convenient however to find updates on the surrounding schools sporting events and concerts. This site was easy to find, because I googled the channel of the station.

http://www.wmzq.com/main.html – 98.7 WMZQ (Baltimore, MD)

WMZQ is a full country station in Northern Virginia, DC, and Maryland area. The color scheme is red, white and blue. It definitely plays on the American flag for two reasons: 1. the station only plays country music and many people relate country music to freedom and America. 2. the station caters to the countries capital. The usability of this site is good. They have a navigation within the header, so the audience members may miss it. The home page is filled with top country news and is can become confusing because there are a lot of stories the audience can scroll through. The site is clear and has tabs in the navigation for music and contests (under the “Win” tab). It is easy to find because you can google either the name of the station or the channel to find the site. It is clear about who is one the air and where you can “Listen Live.” This site has valuable information about upcoming events and contests that their primary audience would want to see.

 

http://www.wmlu.org/ – 91.3 Longwood University Radio (Farmville, VA)

The WMLU home page opens up with a horizontal navigation at the top of the page. The header has the WMLU logo centered, the logo is a rectangular shape that is about one inch. The header also consist of different social media outlets that one can follow WMLU on, located above the navigation on the left hand side. The last part of the header is a microphone with “Listen Live!” in blue text underneath it, located on the right hand side. This is an actual link to the current show. The color scheme of this site is gray and yellow with a little bit of teal on the “PSA Request/DJ Request” as well as the “Contact” page. The site is very useful in looking at the show schedule, and what is coming up for WMLU. One can also find the members of WMLU under the “Staff” tab a long with the shows they host. WMLU web page is easy to navigate and everything is clearly marked. It is an award winning radio station. It brings attention to the station and how good it is. The site is also credible because the links works and there are emails and phone numbers to reach them at.

 

 

All three sites have a similar way of presenting the upcoming shows and events. Each site has an individual tab that is easy for the audience members to click on and go to. These three websites are also similar in that they are all showcasing their own station and members of their station as well. The sites encourage people to go to different social media outlets and like or follow them. This is important especially since people are on their mobile most of the time. All three sites understand their audience members. The sites are all credible, there are not any broken links or mishaps when trying to find the site.

WMZQ and WMLU have a “Listen Live” button that links directly to the live radio. This creates easy access and makes the site usable for those who listen to the radio through their computer. For Kickin’ Country, audience members have to go to an entire separate site in order to listen to live radio. The main difference between all three sites is the way they create their header. WMZQ does a nice job because their logo is on the left hand side so it is the first thing the audience sees. For Kickin’ country they have a crowd with hands in their air making your eyes go up to their station channel information. Another difference is that each site divided the information up differently. Kickin’ Country had links and all the information on the homepage. Where WMLU had upcoming events and a the WMLU Weekly Chart. This homepage was very clean. Lastly, WMZQ had a lot of news stories that you could scroll through.

 

Some positive aspects that I saw was how each site made it very easy to navigate and give the audience what they are looking for. The sites were all updated and credible to what was happening now and in the future. There were no past dates, except for recaps of the past events. All three sites had a navigation bar that was usable and easy to understand. The sites were desirable, with the graphics and pictures. The sites included pictures of their events and their staff members. Having pictures of the staff makes it easy to connect the host’s voice with a face and makes the host more relatable to their audience.

Negative aspects of usability was that there was a lot to click through on each site. I think that WMZA and Kickin’ Country associated more with a mobile version, hover WMLU was very simple and clean. Kickin’ Country would have a more valuable website if they had a direct link to their live radio. Audience members usually go to a radios’ web site to listen to it…or see a recent announcement they posted. Lastly, although the usability of the navigation bar was easy, finding the navigation bar was difficult. The tabs need to be readable to their audience, which makes accessibility difficult.

Website Design: The Good and The Bad

I have chosen to look at three different wedding and event planning sites. Each site is in a different location. These sites all have a different color scheme and layout, but they also have similarities. The three sites are described below:

http://sabrinaseymoreevents.com/

Sabrina Seymore Events is an event planning website that caters to the weddings, dinners, and kids’ events. This company is very marketable to all audience members who are interested in throwing some kind of party. This page incorporates different boxes to click on that help navigate through the rest of the site depending on what you might be interested in. The color scheme used is black and white with a little bit of gold for the logo. The logo is small on the left side of the page. It is minimalistic compared to the rest of the pictures on the home page. This company is an award winning company, so they have a whole page dedicated to the awards and publicity. I think that having this page is good. It is nice to see what they have accomplished and the company’s recognitions. This site also has something different, it has a page on the Navigation titled “Love Story” which is testimonials about people that have used this event planning company.

http://completelyyoursevents.com/

Completely Yours Events is a company located in Alexandria, Virginia. The color scheme that is used through this website is red. The color red is balanced with a lite gray though out the pages. The header of the website has a square logo on the right side with a flowery design behind it. This site has a horizontal navigation bar below the header. The navigation bar is written in white with a red background. This site has a footer that is easy to read, with a clear place to subscribe to newsletters if you are interested. It also has contact information which is nice because then the audience does not have to look through the site to find a phone number.  This site is very simple and easy to navigate.

http://www.eventique.com/

Eventique has an extremely large header that you have to scroll down from in order to get to the homepage and rest of the navigation. This causes a lot of distraction because audience members are not going to know what to do, when they get to this site. The color scheme of this site is gold accents with a white background and black font. It is located in New York and therefore, has a theme of glamor. Once you scroll down and get to the navigation. The navigation is a bit confusing. It has three types of events listed as “social,” “corporate” and non-profit.” This particular company has a larger clientele than most and therefore must categorize them into the themes above.  This site does not have a clear footer. It seems like everything is on one page and when you click a page from the navigation is scrolls down to that particular category.

 

Similarities:

All three of these sites have things in common besides the general theme of event planning. Each site has a portfolio of the events that they have planned. On the first two sites there is a slideshow of pictures from different weddings, and table settings. One the last site they have portfolio page, with each picture associated with an album from the particular event.  The sites also marketed their teams very well, including pictures and bios of the team members. I think this is important as an event planning site because people have to be able to see who they want as their event planner and who all is going to be involved with their big day.  It was also interesting to see that all three companies advertised different events that they do, however most of the pictures were from weddings except for Eventique which had a portfolio consisting of multiple events from each of their top customer fields.

Differences:

 Every design and webpage is different. Throughout these three websites, one thing that stood out to me and that what how the sites organized themselves.  I have seen logos from small to large, and sites from one page to many pages. It is clear that each site has the company’s personality in mind when the designer is creating it. Another major difference is how each site displays their pictures. On Sabrina Seymore Events site, the audience is given a slideshow of pictures, but they have to click through them and these pictures are all wedding pictures even though they advertise towards other events as well. Completely Yours Events has an automatic slideshow that scrolls through pictures the minute you enter their site. This site’s pictures do show a lot of wedding pictures but they also show table settings and lighting which are other key factors to an event. Lastly, Eventique does not have any pictures of their events until the audience either scrolls down to their portfolio or clicks on “portfolio” through the navigation.

 Effectiveness: 

Each site is very effective because they know their demographic and clientele that will be reaching out to the site. The color scheme of each site works, and gives the site a simple and clean feel. None of the sites is so overpowered by color that it causes the audience to leave their site or focus only on the colored use. The content is not overwhelming. Every site is straight and to the point. Event when it comes to the team members bios, which can often be lengthy.

Eventique may have a large header, but it is there to catch the eye and pull the potential clients into their site. Something that is not as effective for this site is the constant scrolling that you have to do to see everything. The scrolling becomes boring to the audience and they may stop half way through the site because it is overwhelming. Completely Yours Events and Sabrina Seymore Events have a box design that makes the site divided but it also allows for the site to be interactive. The boxes are useful because they lead to more information. These three sites are very modern and simple. Some of the navigation can be improved to make it more user friendly and not overwhelm the potential client with information. Overall these sites are sites that I would consider when looking for potential event planners.

Design Analysis of the Communication Studies Homepage

Design:

When looking at the Communication Studies page from the Longwood site, you first come to a video explaining the Comm major. However, before we even look at content it is important to analyze the design of the webpage. Like many of the other webpages we looked at the Longwood Communication Studies page is very simple. The page uses the Longwood colors (blue and white) throughout all of the pages including the homepage. The page has a lot of white space, which does not allow for a lot of contrast. The different tabs on the Communication Studies page are in a light gray. There is really nothing around them except for white space, therefore they do not stick out and shout “Look At Me!”

The layout of the webpage is okay, however it is very inconsistent. On some pages there is just one column of information, while others have two. It depends on how much information each tab has. In order to make each page similar to one another, the layout has to be the same. This current layout makes it difficult because you never know if you are going to have to scroll through all the information or find two columns of information. The use of pictures throughout the website is good. It is nice to see that there are current as well as alumni  on the webpage. By including alumni and current students, it allows for students who are looking at the webpage to form a connections they might not have known about.

Usability:

The website is mostly relates to current students already a Communication Studies major or students already at Longwood looking at  the Communication Studies major. This website does not have a lot of information directed to potential students who might be looking at Longwood. Yes, we have a nice video and the students have done great internships but a potential student is not looking all that right now. They want to see what types of programs there are and were are program is ranked. It takes too long to find the two different concentrations and what each concentration entails. Current students use this site for the professors emails and the internship form. In my opinion this site is not being used for much more than that.

The website could be more user friendly. It is difficult for new students to swift through all the tabs, when they might not even know what they are looking for. Not all the tabs are clear, which makes it more difficult. For example, the “Internship” tab does not give people ideas about what to do, but it just gives them a list of where past students have done their internships. However, the hyperlinks help out when people are trying to find what Goal 1-15 are or the internship form. I think that the use of hyperlinks is done well.

Content:

The text is clear, but it is trying to find the answers that can be the most difficult. For example, the  “Contact Us” tab you would think would direct you to the faculty so you can pick an choose who you want to contact however, there is  a separate tab for that which throws people off on where to go. I think that it is important to have two different sections: one for potential students and one for current students. Each group is looking for something different and comes to this site to answer different questions. I think that it would be useful to have a FAQ section, so that both groups can find quick answers.

The use of pictures is good. The pictures help to describe what the page is talking about. Whether it be pictures of students at their internship or pictures of the different organizations logos and people in those organizations, it all helps to form a visual connection. One might recognize someone and want to join or they see the logo on campus and can make a connection to Communication Studies. It is important that our site show that we are “real” people instead of using pictures from Google images.

I really like that the Communication Studies page is using quotes from pervious students throughout the site. It is important that people get the students perspective because they more likely will relate and think about the Communication Studies major. This is why I think the video is a good idea, but I think it could have been placed elsewhere on the webpage. The content throughout the site is accurate and is consistent through the tabs as well.

Suggestions:

1.  I would make is to make a specific tab for “Potential Students.” This tab would be the perfect place to have promotional videos or text about the major and what each concentration relates to in the “real” world. This would also make it easier for people to find information if they are new to the site instead of having to go fishing for it.

2. I would be to take away the “Contact Us” tab. This tab, has one email address on it and is not very useful. I would put that email on the homepage where it is quick and easy to find. By taking away the “Contact Us” tab it reduces the amount of confusion and people would know to look at the “Faculty” tab in order to get faculty emails.

3 I would be to make each tab have two columns of text. I know that it will be difficult because you have to rearrange the pictures, but it would limit the amount of scrolling the individual would have to do to get to the information they want. By limiting the amount of scrolling people are more likely to look at all the information instead of just some of it.

4.  I would  change the way the involvement organizations are listed out under the “Involvement Opportunities” tab. I would list them in alphabetical order so that it is fair to every organization. This would also make it easier for students to find the organization without having to scroll through all of them.

 

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