The Thomas Ed.son Organization Website

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On of the worst websites I have used has been the website dedicated to Thomas Edison by the Thomas Edison Organization. The website is full of exciting and frequent animations, but the layout and format of the text suffers as a cost of the graphic overuse. While I am still contemplating whether or not the website supports poor enough web-writing to use it as a final project it, I am considering it. If I do use this website, I will focus on the home page, the foundation overview page, and the introduction to why Edison is important today page.

First, as I have already mentioned, the graphics on this site are overwhelming. The user confronts a huge issue when they use the home page. There are "links" in a swirling pattern, which also gets smaller in font size as it continues to swirl. Some links are even upside down! However, the links cannot be clicked on. This causes much confusion for the user. The way information is presented to the users in the text is poorly communicated. Because of the typography, the user may have a difficult time understanding what this site is about, who it created it, and why they should use it. From reading the Web Style Guide, it is determined that fonts and the overall presentation of the text plays an important role. The home page makes it very clear that this is not a "grab and go" website. Users must take a significant amount of time to discover the information they need.

Secondly, the foundation overview page presents an issue similar the the UMN Writing Studies website. The user is presented with a letter, which is clearly not a conversational use of the site. The text is shown in a small section of the page with small font size. Users must also scroll although there is a whole page of empty space.

Thirdly, I will consider working with the introduction to why Edison is important. The information on this page is presented awkwardly. Over half the page is taken up by links that are in a swirling and shrinking link pattern. The page gives very little information to the user, and the information that is presented is in a single paragraph. If this information would be broken up, the user may find it more effective.

As I have already mentioned, I am not sure if I will use this for my final project or not. It seems to be quite an interesting website, but it may take some additional exploring to fully determine whether this is the best choice for a final project.

1 Comment

Hi Amy,

I think the Edison web site is definitely in need of revision--no argument there. HOwever I worry a little bit about doing it for the final project. Because it is so graphic, you'd need to create an entirely new home page, and it might be difficult for you to select content and start from scratch. You've seen more of the site than I have, so perhaps you already have a plan. But I do think this site would be more challenging than most because of the strong graphics and the fact that you would need to generate text. Think about it; if you have a plan and want to continue, I'll certainly agree to it. We can talk some more.

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This page contains a single entry by gross451 published on March 20, 2010 9:14 PM.

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