Originally, I had chosen the Implosion Group's website about Dan Winter - a physicist who is attempting to prove that life and gravity are byproducts of a cosmic implosion due to Charge Fractality, allowing the universe to be conceived from chaos. As I was writing my script for the narration sequence in Jing, I was wondering why I had chosen this website in the first place. It was certainly difficult to read and search for specific information. My impression of the homepage was chaos - not the origin of "order" that winter is hypothesizing. Rather than spend my time making revision comments to a website I will never use or even care about, I decided to turn my attention elsewhere.
My change of decision brought me to my Dad's business website. My Dad, Tom, has been a realtor in the East Metro for 27 years. I thought it would be much more interesting and practical to assess his website. After finding the home page, I realized that he had made the first updates since the site was created in 2001. Surprised, I called him to ask about the revisions. Apparently the updates were made less than two weeks prior. Good job Dad, but is there more you can do? In my opinion, yes. The site has two main features: to provide contact information and professional biography in addition to search functions ranging from total area listings to specifics such as address and zip code.
The first thing that caught my eye was the organization of his bio on the home page. The first header on the top of the page is "Language," which is English. After reviewing local demographics by area code (Census 2000), only about 3% of total residents within Tom's sales region are of Hispanic or of Latino descent with less than 5% being Asian. In totality, only 6.3% of residents are foreign born. He needs to reorganize this using the inverted pyramid style - or at least put "sales executive profile" above "language." Secondly, I know my Dad wears reading glasses and probably has trouble with font size on his own website. He could reduce white space and improve readability by using a larger text. Lastly, the text doesn't "talk" well with the site visitors - using the third person: "Tom specializes in the East Metro and Western Wisconsin areas. He has been providing successful..." He could personalize it more my using "you" and "I" like a spoken conversation.
The search engine on the site was pretty easy to use. There was a large database of over 200 listings in the area, easily located on a Google map. By moving the cursor over the map, the user can click on housing icons that reveal information such as price, number of bedrooms and acreage. Overall this was helpful and fun to search in. However, I was disappointed that some homes didn't have pictures included - especially several of the featured properties on the front page.
Making only one revision in 10 years is not the way to approach a website that outlines your personality, accomplishments and career. The recent revisions made to the site are much needed, but I still see some areas of improvement.