Embarking on creating a few more useful, reader-centered and updated web-pages, the Security and Exchange Commission's (SEC) website is one that can use a design overhaul. When reviewing the site in question it seems to me that it is in a more passive than active voice. Ginny Redish in the book titled Letting Go of the Words, discusses how information delivered on a website should read as a conversation. Specifically outlined in Chapters 10-12 (p. 235-328), she states improvement areas regarding the use of headings, illustrations, and link names.
I will be applying these concepts to my revised version of the SEC's website. First, I will be completing a style sheet that matches the concepts of good headings listed on page 235 of the text. These include the following;
1. Getting the audience interested.
2. Helping them get a quick overview of what is on the page.
3. Setting the context for each section.
4. Helping them make sense of what follows.
5. Facilitating scanning so they can find the section they need.
6. Separating sections, putting a little space on the page.
7. Making the information seem less dense and more readable.
Secondly, as you might have already noticed the website doesn't make use of many pictures or images. In my opinion, this makes the website very dry, and reflects that it might not be updated to a newer fashion or standard. Redish discusses two principles I am going to deploy when creating the new pages. The first one being that the looks and pictures of the website should evoke a certain mood, this is discussed on page 288 of the text. I would like to relay that the SEC is not only there to govern securities but to help as an educational agency to not only financiers, but general financial consumers as well. Currently, the page to be quite frank is relaying information in a scare tactic sort of way by outlining enforcement over education. The second move forward comes from Redish's nine general guidelines for using illustrations effectively (p. 290). The few that stand out in regards to the SEC's website are the following;
1. Don't make people wonder what or why.
2. Use illustrations to support, not hide, content.
3. In pictures of people, show diversity.
The last area for improvement centers on organizing meaningful links. Overall, the SEC's website does a pretty decent job with this but I would like to make a few amendments to the design. As I discussed in my screencast, I want to manage Redish's philosophy of "grab-and-go," while still maintaining easy maneuvering throughout the site. I would like to initiate a top-bar that would have title links and drop-down menus for information that the site offers. I will keep within the 12 guidelines listed on page 308 of the text. Most importantly, keeping an active tone when naming the links and titles, and thinking ahead by matching links and pages. Also, making use of getting back to the home page and previous menus and web-pages within the site.