Category: Digital Media

The Interface – Task One

When we use any type of browsing device to try and find a website, we never really think about how the inner depths of what we are actually doing. With the traditional media that we use today (it could range from the laptops the majority of people have, to the vast amount of smartphones on offer) the terms accessibility, findability and usability are very important.

  • Accessibilty = removing barriers that prevent access to websites by people with disabilities, as well as how easy it is to reach what you want
  • Findabilty = the ease with which information contained on a website can be found, both from outside the website and by users already on the website
  • Usability = the ease of use and learnability of a human-made object

When you begin to think about these 3 things, they slowly become much more clearer for us to recognise in the websites that we visit on a day to day basis. So the best way to highlight these 3 terms would be to compare and contrast in 3 different websites:

  1. http://www.magnumphotos.com/
  2. http://www.joeyl.com/
  3. http://www.art2day.co.uk/

Usability:

Here we will be looking at how easy the sites are to use. For example, are they quite fluid in being able to navigate from A to B, or do you have to click on a variety of links to be able to reach the end point? Obviously there will be times where you will click on possibly more links then needed due to that each link will contain some valuable information, but the rest of the time you want to get there quickly.

With Magnum, it was quite easy to get to a photographers page and see their profile which hosted a variety of their work for you to browse afterwards. There was no dead links or ones that took you somewhere else, and it was very easy to return back to your starting point as well. Everything was clearly labelled so that you couldn’t get confused with where you were going.
With Joey L. the only problem I had in the starting point was actually clicking the links due to how small the text was.This wasn’t a major problem, but it could be annoying when you couldn’t get the mouse to click on it first time. However after that, everything was much larger which made it easier to access the work.
In comparison, art2day had a different approach to showing off the work by using drop down menu; I found this much more useful in being able to highlight what areas I was more focused in so that I could go straight into that area at once. However then there was a long list of photographers/artists on that page with accompanying pictures so this could cause an issue with how long it took the page to load.

Findability:

Findability is an interesting aspect to think about, as it all depends really on knowing the website in the first place (so that you can go there straight) or just by finding it by luck (down to search engines showing up links.)
With all three websites, I found them very easy to use, especially with two of them I haven’t been on before. What helped with them is by having a search engine which helped in looking for anything specific. However, when I didn’t use the search engine on Magnum and Joey L. I found that with the amount of work on it would take a while to find anything that would be of interest¬† could be a problem. Whereas in art2day, again everything is laid out in a conventional manner in which you can look for what you need.

Accessibility:

What’s interesting about this one is that it incorporates the above two in its process . For a website to be fully accessible, you need it to have good findability functions as this would improve how easy it is to access the information, with then how easy it is to use the website with all the information that has been loaded on.¬† However, you can’t forget about how we access it as well; with it being on our linked digital devices.
I found all three websites quite easy to access, however the one that some could have a problem would be art2day as you would have to know about the website to find it I feel. Even when going onto my phone, I found it quite easy to use all the websites with no problem at all, as it seems like it was catered for it as well with the ease of how I could use them.

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