Usability | Blog Post #4

The most important part about building a website, is making sure that people are able to use it. That’s when usability comes into play. Things that make a website easier to use is the use of navigation, breadcrumbs, text links, site search, submission forms and error messages.

Breadcrumbs

One aspect of usability that not all websites use but when used, really maximizes the sites usability is breadcrumbs. To quote Spyrestudios in their article Best of Breadcrumbs and How They Enhance Your Website, “There are various reasons why anyone would use breadcrumbs, one of the top choices is the massive gain in usability.” There are three different things this article covers when talking about breadcrumbs; why we should use them, why we need them and the three different types of breadcrumbs. What I got from the article is that we use breadcrumbs so the user can easily know where they are within a site and can easily backtrack if they needed to. The three different types of breadcrumbs are path based, location based and attribute based. A good example of breadcrumbs would be The Glasgow Collective,the first set of breadcrumbs are in blue and show both path based and location based breadcrumbs, that show where they are in the site and the steps they look to get there. The red set of breadcrumbs would be attribute breadcrumbs because once your on that page, it shows more links you can click for more detailed information.

Converse

Converse is a large shoe company that has been around since 1908 and have had to constantly make changes to keep with with the times and I think their site really shows the development in web design and interesting usability.
converse homepage
The image above is the Converse homepage. Everything on the homepage including the images are a form of navigation. the navigation bar in the middle at the top only contains two sections, but with in each section is a drop-down menu of all the choices to choose from for shop and the two choices that drop-down for when you want to create. There is also a set of text links below the navigation menu that when you click one different image links will appear in the homepage to help you figure out where you want to go in the site. The navigation and links are very visual to help the user figure out what shoe they want to buy.
Another thing I found interesting about this site is the color wheel in the center of the text links, this is a really fun and useful feature for this site because a lot of people specifically shop for color when they shop for converse shoes, and when you choose a color, more picture links of featured items for that particular color appear in the homepage.
Overall, the level of usability is targeted at young adults who are familiar with using the internet. This website is a fun website to visit to get information on basketball, music and skateboarding as well as making shopping for shoes fun and interactive. There are many navigation tools, such as the navigation bar at the top as well as the text and picture links. Some of the only critiques I would give this site is that I didn’t really see much use of breadcrumbs that could take the user back to the previous page they were at other than the back button. Also, the converse logo is the only link that will take the user back to the original home page, and its something that has to be figured out by the user instead of them knowing where they will go before they click it.

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