Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Exercise 3.8 (Kelly, 2000)

After reading Kelly (2000), I was reminded of when I was answering the question on useful HTML sites. I included in my table a section on Website design tips, which seemed to cover much of the same issues as in the Kelly article.
It has made me a look at my own website to see if I have broken any taboos with web design, and which aspects I have actually adhered to. Also I started to look at my motivations for creating my website (how much is it for me, and how much is it for others). When creating a website it is very easy to get wrapped up in exciting new capabilities...Having flashing banners, and super animated gifs that on their own are very impressive, but when combined with other aspects tend to detract form the overall effectiveness of the website.
I was at one stage getting so involved in the creation process that I lost site of what Kelly (2000) calls the visitor’s point of view:
1. Is it usable?
2. Does it have something that the visitor wants?
3. Does it waste their time?
4. Is it irritating?

I started adding all these third party add ons, that tended to slow the website down. As a user myself, I realize how quickly I get annoyed at pages that take forever to load...and my connection speed is pretty high...imagine someone on slower ADSL or even dial up (like in some developing countries)...I found that my website had an annoying habit of being slow on some computers/computer networks...I had to speed it up...and this meant reduce the amount of things on one page, and maybe spread them out in a different layout. I had to balance the idea of getting to a destination within 3 clicks, and the amount and kind of information I could display in one place... i am still struggling with this idea.

Kelly(2000) says that websites should be easy to use...this is very difficult, especially with the variety of designs that are out there...I guess, in the end, simple is best...but then how do you make your page stand out from the thousands of other pages? This is one of my complaints with using blogger, and even to a lesser degree i-web (Mac web page design software). Pages start looking the same all over the net. Yet on the other hand, one good thing that these programs have brought about is a certain amount of standardization...which will reduce a lot of confusion out there in cyberspace.

My website is in the end about the user...just as a presentation must think of it's audience and a teacher their Ss. I think that showing excitement about the design of a page is essential, and will keep your page looking fresh. But, if the page is not being accessed, then no matter how great the information you have to share, there simply is no point....
Also, no matter how flashy you make your page, if the content is simply won't be trusted...

I believe that websites have to be constantly evolving, but also responsive to the users, at least our linguistic resource sites. They should be authoritative, but not condescending to the user, or their needs. They should be fun, and easy to use, yet not redundant or waste someone's time. Most of all they should be accessible in all possible the greatest number of users...

Kelly, C. (2000). Guidelines for designing a good web site for ESL students, Japan: The internet TESL Journal, 6(3), Retrieved at

No comments: