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Visual Presentation of a Web site

This summer my boss and I were in charge of leading a project to get our Web site updated, it was in dire need of an upgrade. Besides the out of date factor, it was confusing. In it’s simplest form Norman said it best in The Psychopathology of Everyday Thing, “well-designed objects are easy to interpret and understand. They contain visual clues to their operation…” The Internet can be seen as one of the frustrations of everyday life, there’s a lot of poorly designed sites that exist (paradox of technology). A lot of research, focus groups, and planning went into our design, but we were able to narrow down what students, faculty and staff, and parents view the most and want to see on our site.

After our research we were able to come up with a design that allows the user to look at the site and instantly know where to click, thus creating a clear conceptual model in the mind of the viewer about how to properly operate the site. They can predict that if they click ‘eat’ on the navigation bar, it will direct them to the menus for the day of the places on campus, and so on and so forth. Our clever design helped to improve understandability and usability.




I took an entire course several years ago about information design. And in that class, we looked at LOTS of bad examples! From a marketing perspective, you lose potential sales when customers are too frustrated to stick around and figure out the navigation. The article states that simple things shouldn’t need pictures or labels. That’s true of websites too – it shouldn’t have to specifically say “click here.” There are visual cues that can be included that people are now familiar with. Good example!


This is definitely well mapped with no room for confusion. Some websites are so overwhelming because they are so unorganized!

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