Five issues analyzed
I chose the following five guideline topics to analyze the Rancho Cucamonga library website because I feel that these issues are the most important when it comes to having spectacular usability on a website. A larger list of guidelines can be found at usability.gov The way a user learns to navigate your page can make or break whether they return. If your website is not pleasing to the user and is difficult to read due to excessive graphics, poor text use, inability to quickly scan lists a user will not want to use your site no matter how helpful the information is and will be less likely to remember it to recommend to a friend, a future user. For a brief listing of the guidelines I analyzed and the ratings I gave each point please click here.
Rating: 4 stars
The page layout of the Rancho Cucamonga Library received a star rating of 4. The reasons being first the amount of white space is clean and pleasing for the eyes to read. It does not turn you away with its visual use of information. The text length is in paragraph format but it is not lengthy, but short and sweet. The page length is a little longer than I think needed, as you scroll down the white space increases drastically and this can be eliminated. As well as the length of the page, their is not scroll to the top or anchor that can take you directly back up you have to scroll. The most important items are at the top of the page such as the hours and location, services offered, catalog link and calendar of events.
Rating: 4 stars
Navigating the homepage is very explanatory. There is a sequential menu located directly on the left side of the page in the sidebar. This menu expands on the necessary items giving sub-item options. There is a site map located in the breadcrumb area that allows you to track where you are and how you got there however I must point out that clicking homepage does not take you to the library homepage but the City homepage within which the library website lies. There site does not utilize glosses but there are no “Dead End” pages, which is beneficial for the user as they can go back to the previous page if they found that the page they were currently on was not the one they needed. One criticism I have for navigation is the way the database list is set up. Again their is no top of page anchor causing a tremendous amount of scrolling back and forth through the lists.
The text use is consistent in format, same size, color and font unless needed otherwise. Although it is not black text on a plain background the use of the dark green fulfills the same need and follows the color scheme of the website. They utilize all caps for headings the rest of the text is in appropriate lowercase and capitalize letter standard. The use of bold text is sparing and appropriate. For example on the area for “Upcoming Events” the date is bold to distinguish that the following events happen on that date and the events are in standard text format. Using the calendar of events as another example the listing for the closest upcoming date is put at the top, to emphasize the importance of that date. On the homepage on the right side there is an automated feed that switches news feeds, the animation of the switch is often enough to catch your attention but not too often to annoy you. The animation of these items are important because they advertise different events going on with the library whether is is a new service or registration for upcoming events.
Graphics, Images and Multimedia
Rating: 4.6 stars
There use of a logo on every page, it is the City’s logo of a bunch of grapes in front of a turquoise archway outline in a double border of purple and white. The use of the logo creates in the users mind the association of that logo with the City. The background is really simple the text lays on a white background while the entire library website has a background of two sets of books that sit nicely in the margins without causing distraction to the website content. On the homepage in the left sidebar there are three images to view virtual tours of their libraries and directly on the photo is says click for virtual tour but as you hover over the photo it gives text describing what the photo links to. The graphics the site uses are very pertinent to the webpage they are on whether it is a calendar for the calendar of events or a picture of the Library director on the Welcome page. The web pages load quickly which shows that the use of the graphics do not bog down the site.
Rating: 4.8 stars
I came across a list of databases, that had clickable links and followed the guideline of reading in columns not rows, up and down. The top list is easy to scan quickly although not with bullets the spacing and alternating line colors allows for ease of reading. As you scroll down through the full list of databases the lists are with bullets and easy to read. I find that this list of databases makes the page incredibly long and the lack of ability to quickly scroll to the top creates a hassle for the user. Most of the lists found on the Rancho Cucamonga library site are completed with bullets on a clean background creating an easy reading experience.