Home    Evaluating a Website

Generation 1: Communication

  • Is the Web site reminiscent of a report or book?
  • Does the site consist mostly of text with little, if any, graphic enhancement?
  • Does it seem that the text has been transferred, essentially intact, from printed documents?
  • Does the text appear to be scanned in and only minimally adjusted to the additional capabilities of the Web?
High-quality Generation 1: Is the site primarily textual but in a way that makes full use of the capabilities and advantages of the hypertext medium, supporting users in their independent and personalized use of the material?

Generation 2: Visual Appeal

  • Are visual and/or other elements used as an integral part of the design of the site?
  • Do the graphic and other multimedia enhancements increase the appeal of the site?
  • Do the visual and multimedia elements load quickly enough that you are not frustrated with awaiting their arrival?
  • Do the sound and music elements (also the animations) stop their "looping" before their interest and value has passed and they begin to become annoying?
High-quality Generation 2: Are the graphics consistent in theme and metaphor, improving the communications level of the site or otherwise enhancing its appeal?

Generation 3: Utility

  • Am I able to interact with the site?
  • Am I able to complete a task or work through an idea or plan?
  • Will the site be of possible value to someone whose needs and interest are aligned with its purpose?
High-quality Generation 3: Does the site succeed in enabling me to fully accomplish a task that is important to me, efficiently and without confusion or backtracking?

Generation 4: Engagement

  • Am I able to participate meaningfully in the value and "life" of the site?
  • Do others participate in ways that allow them to share and "have a voice"?
  • Does the site have a dynamic "feel" to it, as though its existence is, in itself, creating an opportunity for the valuable gathering of knowledge and sharing of experience?
High-quality Generation 4: Are contributions to the site coherent and constructive? (This generally indicates that the site has a "moderator" who is responsible for judging the appropriateness of various interactions and contributions.)

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