Design Justification for Online Presence

Design Justification (500-750 words): Using Neilson’s usability heuristics, evaluate the design of your web presence. Is the design clean, intuitive, transparent, enabling task completion and so on. What is the strategy for your online presence? What might you do differently in the future?

With Neilson’s usability heuristics in mind, we designed our project blog as well as our overall web presence to create a comprehensive yet simple and intuitive platform in order to simultaneously explore the technology of near field communication, update our readers and each other on our project status and stay up-to-date on current events happening with this technology. We wanted to inform our readers about this emerging technology while also keeping ourselves informed of NFC news that was happening in real-time. We found that creating a blog and a twitter account effectively enabled us to easily stay up-to date by following prominent technology and NFC specialized handles on Twitter and not only re-tweet this information to our followers, but also post websites, news articles and media to our blog while synthesizing all of the data into our own words for our various deliverables.

The particular WordPress theme that we ended up choosing for the final version of the blog looks clean, lays out all of the information and allows the reader to easily navigate around the website while also having a funky, modern feel, fit for this fascinating, emerging technology. Our menu on the top of the screen allows the user to see all of the various components of the blog and our project deliverables. Although there are a great deal of options for WordPress themes, we did not find any that were exactly perfect for what we were trying to achieve, however, the one we landed on, “Greyezed”, worked sufficiently for our project. The option of having dropdown menus was a big factor in choosing our design along with the presence of widgets and images on the main slide. Unfortunately, one of the downsides of this design ended up being with the menu on the top. The first two rows of menu options are clear, however, the third row starts to blend in with the themes background. Because of this, the two options in the third row are slightly harder to notice than they would be had we had the option to manually adjust the menu.

The widget options for this blog are very helpful in maintaining transparency and utility. One the main page, as well as throughout each page of the blog, the left-hand column remains intact and the user can clearly see our “Welcome message”, most recent twitter post, recent comments and an image of and NFC enabled phone.  Additionally, the menu options remain throughout the pages and posts of our blog and the user can easily switch to a different page or return back to the home page. Our home page clearly shows our recent posts, allowing us to effectively inform our readers of updates, new content and interesting media we think they would enjoy.

We chose to start a twitter feed for a number of reasons. Twitter enabled our group to efficiently gather as much recent news and updates that were happening around the NFC universe and also learn in real-time the major players in this technology and keep tabs on them. Although some may fault Twitter for lacking substance and having more of a surface-level impact, we found it to be a perfect tool to learn about NFC, inform others about NFC and keep the group and followers up-to date on our own findings and the project as a whole. In the future, if given more time, resources and a budget, we would have liked to create our own website and customized graphic design in order to more effectively achieve our goals.

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