Website Design

The first site I’m going to critique is a parallel to my ecology. Because I’m exploring the affects of Hudson Yards as a development, it only makes sense that I dissect their website.

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Above is a screen shot of the home screen. What appears to be a hero image is actually a hero video. This would be a rather effective piece of media if the shots were steadier and less rapid fire. The rest of the home page is rather clean, and is broken down in a way that’s easy to digest and encourages further exploration. Overall the site makes a very uninhabited space feel booming and flush with activity. The layout isn’t very consistent from page to page but otherwise I’d say its a well built site.

Now, time to analyze one of my favorite unconventional websites.

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If you’ve ever shopped online at Zara, you’ll notice that they do not care in the least bit if their layout looks extremely broken. There’s no acknowledgement of the grid here. The menu spills into hero images, which spills into sidebars, that spills into pricing conventions. If you click on specific product categories (note the insane amount of category choices on the left), images of the clothing will be all different sizes and are often misaligned. One of my biggest qualms with the layout of this site is that the bold choice to have menus overlap images, sometimes happens over darker images, and you literally cant find or read the menu to navigate the site. Also the extremely granular categorizations is very overwhelming, especially for an ecommerce site. I usually end up emptying my cart and scooting out of there.

Moving on to my last analysis, let’s look at a website template.

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When I first read about this project on the assignments tab, I imagined my site would be broken down in a similar fashion to blog posts. So I actually found this template very early on as a way to organize and display information. The gallery seen above actually scrolls horizontally by itself, encouraging users to click on one of the articles. The rest of the site below the fold actually didn’t work in the preview, so thats a glaring error. I like the simple layout and definitely think a similar theme could work for some of my pages, but not all. The search functionality probably isn’t as useful for me, because my site visitors won’t yet have context on what to search for.

I think that my ecology site really needs to be a choose your own adventure of sorts. I need to guide users through the site, and feed them information bit by bit to create a narrative. This may mean getting rid of the navigation all together, and making them follow a wikipedia esque link journey. Or simply utilizing a “next feature” may be the best path. Either way I need to find a method to parse bits of information in a digestible way and keep readers engaged. I would like to stick to a simple interface with a clean design that lets the content be king. I feel like I am speaking to inner city residents with my ecology site, but that could change.

Finally, here’s a quick wireframe of what my gallery page will look like. I want the images on both sides to be JQuery galleries, quickly flickering between images of my affected and affecter sites.

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~ by Alexis on February 23, 2018.

4 Responses to “Website Design”

  1. I like how image focused your design plan is! It is also interesting how you bring up that Zara’s unconventional website design actually hinders you from wanting to shop on it, which is the goal of the site. This brings into question how the desire to be “different” and implementing too much “poor” design can hinder your message from being translated to the user, and it is important to find a balance in between.

  2. Hi Alexis! These were good examples for how navigation can be used in a number of ways, whether it be effective or not. I think it would be interesting for you to mock the current Hudson Yards website, but you could make your site better in areas where the current website lacks. Since Hudson Yards is under development, I think your site can show or symbolize some sort of development where you demonstrate a start to finish type of journey. For example. maybe a scroll, where you scroll from minimal text with no picture, and gradually lead to a larger gallery with more information.

  3. Its very constructive the way you target navigation and layout to build storytelling methods to expand past sole narrative to speak about how users will access this narrative. This approach is inspiring and something I will keep in mind! It would be helpful for me to better understand the purpose of design decisions if you could draw a more transparent connection between features from fashion blogs and your ecology’s focus! Is it that they both speak to a commodity or is the intention to showcase imagery that speaks for itself? I look forward to seeing how your site will tell its unique story!

    • The fashion blog wasn’t related to my ecology, just an example of poor design choices!

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