Website Research PART 1

After my introduction I have decided to begin researching other websites as a starting point for this new project, starting with the following:

HOW WE ENGAGE WITH THE WEB


  • There are many different uses for websites depending on the target audience and what the shop is intended to achieve. Some of the different types of websites I have come across in everyday life are shops (e commerce), blogs, social media, portfolio sites and information sites. Shops are websites made with the intent to sell items (or programmes, backgrounds etc) to the public to make a profit and essentially promote their own merchandise. Some of my favourite examples of shopping websites are as follows:
    http://www.apple.com/
    http://www.regalrose.co.uk/
    http://www.topshop.com/
    Blogs are basically a self documentation site, much like the one you are on now, where a person can document something and publish it in a way they like. Blogs have become increasingly popular over the past few years as social media has also taken a swift rise on the net and has now become one of the best advertising methods for companies. An example of what some people might blog is fashion and beauty, travel, art and many other things. Below are some popular blog sites:
    https://www.zoella.co.uk/
    https://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-blog/
    https://www.bloglovin.com/ (This is a bit different as it is a platform to contain many blogs)
    Social media websites (as most people will know and use daily) are sites (much like blogs) that allow people to post personal content onto the web and connect with their friends and family, or even gain followers and create an audience. Social media has become a platform on it’s own over the past decade, giving birth to new online celebrities and allowing people to always keep track of people they are close to (or not so close to) with ease. Below are some social media sites:
    https://instagram.com/
    https://twitter.com/
    https://facebook.com/
    Portfolio sites are sites which people use to promote or display their work to a client base or the public/online community. Companies mainly use this type of site to show potential or returning clients what they could produce for them, personal portfolio sites are mainly used to showcase what someone does for a hobby:
    http://ryanscherf.net/
    http://smartgc.com.ar/english.php
    http://www.adhemas.com/
    Informative sites are mainly things that deliver information and news to people online. These are commonly used by students to gather research when libraries seem too overbearing, also in everyday life by people who want to know facts or see what is going on in the world. Examples below:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/

  • The benefits of having a website… well their is one main goal in my head and that is exposure. The more people see your website, the better in my opinion. It is a way of spreading your passion/what you do beyond common advertising techniques and word of mouth.
    For sites like shops, the benefits could include reaching a wider client base, for example people who can’t reach their stores can simply buy online. When it comes to huge companies, using smaller yet popular sited to place their advertisements on is also a given benefit alongside being able to easily convey information on their own site.
  • SEO is an acronym meaning Search Engine Optimisation. What SEO does is optimises your site using various methods when people use search engines such as Google. This basically determines how popular/important your website url is amongst all the other sites on the web. All in all it’s the process of maximising the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.
  • What makes an effective/ineffective website is not defined by one ideal alone, it depends on various aspects, one of which is the intent of the website in question. What will work for one website might not work for another. An example of this is if a news agent website and a teenagers clothing website used each others styles. If the teen clothing brand made their site corporate and plain, whereas the news agents site used a hipster, young theme then they would not work because a corporate appearance wouldn’t appeal to young adults, similar to the fact that if a business man went to a news site and was confronted with a young theme, they wouldn’t take the site seriously and would probably would flee to the BBC site for what seems like more reliable information.
    To put a more generalised list together is hard because of the many different sites out there with their many different purposes. Below is a list of some things I think helps a site be successful/effective:
    Appropriate for the subject at hand
    Puts information across clearly
    Easy to navigate (3 click rule)
    Mobile appropriate
    Loading times
    Images/Visual representations
    Unique yet easy to understand
    These are only a few things that make up a good website. All of these things work in conjunction with each other and something I have noticed is that there needs to be a balance between these points, if one area is brilliant yet another important area such as navigation is lacking, this can also make the site seem overall bad despite it only being one thing that is lacking.
    The things that make a bad website are basically the reverse of my above list. Simple things such as a disregard for audience, using a complicated & difficult to navigate sight structure and so on.
  • When people asked how we access the web about 5 years ago, people would have instantly said something along the lines of “on the computer”. Nowadays however, things have changed a little. People are accessing the internet through mobile and tablet devices more than ever, through online games, mobile apps, iTunes and music apps. There are so many different apps, browsers and devices that can access the internet that you need to be prepared for any (if not all) of these modern devices to access your website via any of these methods.
    An example of a site not being prepared for modern ways of accessing the internet is as follows: A designer makes a site for a clothing company. This website functions properly on desktops, fulfils it’s marketing purposes and looks rather nice in the process. The only problem is that the design isn’t responsive, meaning when someone tries to access this website using an iPhone 5 for example, the design will not alter to the size of the phone, requiring a lot of zooming and messing around to navigate the site.
    The above situation is more important than it sounds because it could define whether or not someone wants to visit the site or go elsewhere. If your website only works fluently on one device (a desktop for example) but not on others, it will become a hassle for clients or visitors to get to where the need and thus will affect who views your site.
    On the other hand, a good thing to do when designing your site is consider ALL platforms, apps etc. This way you are covered no matter who tries to view your website, making sure your not inadvertently turning people away due to the responsiveness of your site.
  • There are many strengths and limitations of modern web devices. As mentioned above, you should structure your site to be responsive to as many different web devices as possible. The strengths of devices such as mobile phones and tablets, iWatches and Google Glass is that they can be transported, allowing easy access to the web (and your website) from virtually anywhere. Not only does this allow more people to tune in any time of the day, but it could improve sales for e-commerce sites because people may be able to buy anywhere and everywhere without limitations.
    A weakness of modern mobile devices that I feel a lot of ‘unique’ sites that use a lot of plugins will face is that the devices simply don’t run the site properly. Either this or that the resizing/alteration of certain aspects that use unavailable software to run becomes an issue.

    I hope you enjoyed part 1 of my research, see my next post for part 2.

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