Website Design

1.NJ Transit
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It is most fitting that I refer the NJ Transit’s very own webpage to think about what I should and should not go for my webpage. I browsed a through the MTA website as well, and surprisingly both websites resembled very much, similar color scheme, similar layout, and similar use of keywords (this one may be obvious as they are the same area of business). However, it was hard not to think that one didn’t refer to another’s  while creating their webpages.

This is not to make a general assumption, however, from my observation over time as an internet user, I have noticed that many government or state-owned company websites tend to lean towards the side of not being as user friendly or even just easy to look at. Of course there are a few that stand as outliers. However, I feel as though this is an interesting point to consider and maybe ask why this is so. Maybe the company’s goals and focus don’t place as strong as an emphasis on design and appeal, and more about their physical service. Of course, aesthetics and design can be a very subjective thing, but we can still be objective and think about that functionality of design, and if the design, even if unpleasant to look at, is able to direct the user to where they need to be quickly. These are all points that I kept in mind as I was navigating my throughout the pages.

One aspect about their webpage that I do want to implement into the design of my own website are the simple and clear navigation bars, and the uses of grids, lines, squares, and rectangles. I think with my ecology, there is a lot to be discussed about organization, time, and order, which I think those structures I listed symbolize. However, I do feel like their webpage, just in the homepage itself is a spillage of texts over texts. There are too many small boxes and columns, all of which carry number of different information. I believe there is a way to present hight volumes of information on a digital platform in a very organized way which will make the navigation for users much easier.

One important take away from this website is thinking about what information would users want to see right away when they go on your webpage. If your webpage presents a mess of information, what your audience will receive is a mess of information, which may discourage them from wanting to use the website. If we are speaking directly at my ecology, I believe that another factor in the chaos in the current state of the NJ Transit could also due to their lack of ability to condense the information on their website for their riders/commuters. I know that for me when I need a transportation website, the only reason I would ever need to visit their page is to check times, estimate trips, or see if there are any delays. However, when I arrive on the page, there’s a number of information that is being thrown my way.

2. Finn Brunton’s Website 

Screen Shot 2018-02-26 at 7.35.23 PMWhen we were asked to consider a “poor” site, along the definitions of Hito Stereyl, the first website that came to my mind was Finn Brunton ( also a MCC professor)’s website. This page is essentially is an about me page. His page contains no navigation bar, no sort of structure, but really just a page with four paragraphs. However, within his texts, he hyperlinks each item he feels he wants his users to be directed to, whether it’s his resume or work, or even just pictures of things that he loves and are interested in. His website has changed in terms of information since I was his student, however, I still find his page to be so interesting and amusing to navigate through. Especially when I glide over a hyperlinked text, I’m left wondering where this link will take me to.

Finn’s site is an interesting but also very great example of how you use digital media, in the form of a website to express who you are. As a professor and researcher on digital media technologies, I think he chose to keep his website so plane and “poor” to challenge certain ideas of what your typical web layout should be. If it was anyone else who chose to create a website in this design, you may question their skill or even purpose of the website, however, from Finn’s credentials we can assume that he has the ability to create a website that is “beautiful” and “rich” but instead he chose to challenge our ideas of a modern day webpage.

Of course, as much as I would love to try creating and designing my webpage with this sort of narrative, the information I’m presenting would not be fitting for this design.

3. Harvard University Graduate School of Design Webpage –

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 The Harvard University Graduate School of Design page was built off of webpage, and I think they really set the bar of what a WordPress website can do. Of course, this page was designed probably by and of course for design majors, so there was definitely a lot of thought that went behind not only the appearance of the website as well as the functionality. Since all of us in this class are now technically designers, I thought this webpage would be inspiring not just for me, but all of us as well.

This website is very interactive and almost playful — not too serious, but it does what it needs to, and provides all the valuable information one would want from this page. I think this website exemplifies good uses of animation or playful affects that can be implanted on a webpage. Their use of image and just their design in general, all aspects have a purpose of more than just fill the page or create beauty to their page, but have a function.

Their way of organizing their information has inspired me to think about how I can shape my website. Their navigation bar is very simple with three selections. One that really caught my eyes was their “A-Z” tab, which opens up to a site index that organizes all information into alphabetical order. This is fascinating not only because of the way it is organized, but because at first glance at their website, it is very simple, and concise, which would not make you think this website would contain this large amount of information.

4. Wireframes

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After visiting these sites, with the intent of analyzing and critiquing them, I have a better idea of what I want to do. One thing I really realized was functionality, and purpose. In the beginning I was thinking a lot about how my website would look just to look cool or good, and I wanted to learn how to add interactive features or certain features but with no real purpose or function. I think for almost every link or components I add to my page should I have a reason. Even if that reason may not be what everyone thinks, but the point is for me to execute my design in a way so people understand what I am implying.

I really want to emphasize organization and structure with my information, whether it may be text, or my photo gallery. I really wan to use my website to juxtapose the chaos and discord that goes on within these train stations. I am also thinking a lot  about the use of scrolling, because I think scrolling has the use of “revealing” from a straight and organized flow of information, of course a very concise scroll as opposed to an infinite scroll. As for my gallery, I don’t think a slideshow would necessarily work for my ecology, instead I want to go forward with a grid gallery, where all the dimensions are the same so that I can do a lot of contrast and comparing.

I’m sure as I visit my site more, as well as take time to think about what I am trying to learn and unpack from this ecology I will have a better idea of how I should go forward with the design of my webpage.


~ by dmtprosannec on February 26, 2018.

3 Responses to “Website Design”

  1. It was interesting how you brought up how government sites tend to not be user friendly, and that may be because of the goals of the website. In some way, the difficulty to find straight forward information and the abundant information present on the website which is very overwhelming parallels that of the NJ Transit infrastructure. You may want to think of that when thinking about the affects your website will have in translating the physical space of the NJ Transit station!

  2. I really enjoyed your purposeful attention to your audiences’ needs. Choosing to prioritize function and information fitted for your project’s user and subject will be incredibly engaging sans “interactive features.” I like that you are keeping in mind organization, time, order to reflect the NJ Transit experience when considering navigation design. It would be interesting to replicate the affects from within the station onto your webpage with experimental functions like a domineering digital clock or counting timer in the lower corner to replicate the heavy feeling of running late.

  3. You’re spot on when you say that government sites are hard to navigate and push users away. The issue of having too much information to sort and organize in a thoughtful way is very prevalent for sites like the first that you analyzed. I think that keeping that in mind will help you a lot while you design your site, because keeping the users intent in mind will help streamline the site!

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