The purpose of this website is to sell products that glow or blink in the dark. In order to pass the message across, the website is entirely dark in order to allow the products being sold to blink. In so doing, the website portrays the basic theme of everything else being in the dark while the products blink at the prospective client. Some of the products on sale include Halloween wands as well as LED skeleton gloves all of which blink in the dark.
ii). First Reaction
I came across the website through a friend while shopping for Halloween products. I had promised to get my little cousins something for that day, and I had no idea of where to commence. My initial reaction was that of surprise since it is quite rare to come across websites with dark background colors. Although the idea behind the dark background is to make the products blink while on display in the website, it fails in drawing attention to the products on sale. I remember when I landed on the page; I made a sour face that was followed by a giggle. It is quite easy to lose focus on what an individual had come to do on the site. This is because one is trying to figure out what is not in place on this website.
Generally, the structural elements of HTML are integrated in the website including the headers, footers and navigation elements. However, there is still room for improvement as the website is too simplistic for an eCommerce business. The header contains the heading of the website as well as the search and account commands. This is well in line with the requirements of HTML making it ideal and functional. The body is also filled with the products on sale and has a lot of animation making the site too busy. Few animations would be ideal, but making it excessive is mind bogging. However, the positioning of the products on the body makes it very easy for customers to make quick purchases. The footer contains such functionalities as the home, about and cart tabs all lined at the bottom. Despite the element aiding in navigation, it would have been well suited to be included on the header for improved visibility. In addition, the website follows the structural element of navigation by providing links to other web pages and other sections within the website. For instance, there are links to the account, cart as well as the different products.
The website further appreciates the importance of web navigation in facilitating the movement between different web pages. Blinkee.com uses the hierarchical type of website navigation whereby the structure is built from general to specific. This way, the website provides a simple path to all the web pages from any part of the website. In addition, it uses such styles as the dropdown menu and text links in laying out the navigation system.
Despite the poor nature of the website, it does have some positive attributes that make it easy to use for interested parties. For instance, the navigation buttons are easy to use making the general navigation consistent across the website. In addition, the use of different navigation buttons gives the visitor an idea of where they are within the site (Powell, 2000). In terms of the main menu, the hover effects are clear due to the large font that is used. The dark background, although a poor design serves to accentuate the font of the main menu making it even more visible. Further, the site has a utility navigation on the left side which is an ideal location for the navigation set. Lastly, the incorporation of different types of visuals besides texts is a positive attribute of the website.
The website is not short of negative attributes that contribute to its general poor design. To begin with, the dark background brings confusion when you first land on the home page. There is the tendency of losing sight of what one was searching for while trying to figure out what is going on. Such an element is likely to hinder a potential buyer from taking action. Another aspect that makes the website undesirable is that it is quite busy. This has been attributed by the fact that it has a lot of animations. A few animations would have been okay, and served the intended purpose at the same time. The website also has two frames; one on the right and the other one on the left. Inclusion of the right frame does not make any sense since it is empty. Maybe it could have been removed to allow the products to spread through-out the website. Inclusion of the “Blinkee” description on the left frame is not appealing too. It would have been better if it as included on the FAQs page, or even on its own page. An eCommerce website is supposed to make a viewer want stay around and view the things on sale (Petrik, 2000). The website focuses on other attributes instead, and this makes a viewer to develop the desire of leaving.
Despite the website following some HTML structural elements, there are some factors that make it poor. The good thing is that it can be corrected. The process of improving the website would include redesigning of the homepage to reflect quality standards of web design. For instance, the items on sale should be the focus instead of the blinking visuals. The empty frame (right) should be deleted since it serves no purpose on the website. If that is not the case, something can be included to justify its inclusion. The text explaining what a “Blinkee” is should be removed from the left frame. It looks displaced and should be included on a specific page. The home, about and cart tabs among other categories navigation should have been included on the header section instead of the footer. This would make them quite visible to users upon landing on the page. Lastly, and most importantly, the dark background should be shelved to make the site even more appealing. It is difficult to read through texts while such a background color is on use.
Petrik, P. (2000). ” TOP TEN MISTAKES” IN ACADEMIC WEB DESIGN. History Computer Review, 16(1), 63-68.
Powell, T. A. (2000). Web design: The complete reference. New York, NY: Osborne/McGraw-Hill.
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