Twenty-fourth – the critic’s critique

This assignment asks to discuss the feedback we received on our design just a few hours ago; whether we think it was helpful or not relevant. We are asked to evaluate how effective the site was with a fresh user.

In order to make things clear, first, I need to describe the setting. We had 3-5 minutes to present our sites through the main and an interior page design. Then, the assigned critic had to discuss the two screen shot-like pictures seen previously. I could not tell all the details I wanted to about my website and the response I got could have been more helpful had I made some additional comments. But maybe not. However, I do not know what to make of the comments: I was told that my search icon, which is red, but not the only red on the drawing that is dominated by blues, grays, and greens, attracts the eye, and thus draws attention away from the logo.

Is it something subjective, I mean the red attracting the eye of the viewer, or does it work for the whole humanity in the same way except for me? I see the red spots in balance all over the drawing. And I am not sure why the attention should go to the logo and not the drawing, i. e. body, on the first place? I got a suggestion to change the letters of the logo to red, which would make the picture more balanced, i. e. attract more attention. (The logo is in the upper left-hand corner, the search icon is opposite, on the right.) Not to me. Than, I feel, I need something red on the bottom-right corner as well, since I have the red mail box on the left.

I think, what the site needs is to enlarge the fonts. But I was not told this.

Overall, I think, my site does not look like the other sites, at all. (Though there are some common points with some of the sites I saw today.) My navigation is inside a very primer drawing. And the site is not about me or something I create or try to sell. It is about others doing things. My whole concept of what the website is about is different. It wishes to create a world around events occur all over the globe. Having such a different approach might or might not justify such a different approach to design this website. But this was not discussed today. Only the colors. Which I do not know what to make out of, as I mentioned earlier.

Summing up, I am not sure, if this short discussion can be described as user experience. My viewer could not actually use the site, only look at it. She could not discover the different functions, navigate, and listen to the sounds of the site.

Though, tonight was not the best experience for me, it was less than what I expected, I have another chance when I will show it to teachers and hear from them how they view the site. They are also more knowledgeable of the target audience, who might have other ideas of the color red, the function of the logo, and the order of importance of the elements of the website.

    • rrolfe
    • April 7th, 2012

    Excellent points. It’s difficult to get a full grasp of a site simply through visuals, and evaluators can get hung up on issues that might not seem relevant to the whole. You said “What I think the site needs is to change fonts.” You’re hitting on something important – the feedback you get may be misdirected at the cause. What you heard was that the search bar was very prominent. It’s prominence was attributed to color but you’re rightly thinking perhaps it’s more an issue of size. Move in that direction and see how it works out.

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