This final memo on topic 7, understanding the international perspective on web design and content, concludes all findings, and the overall experience. Even though my international partner, Sylla – from Bomoko, Mali, wasn’t attending an academic program with a concentration in design, technical communication or usability engineering, he had a great eye for design, and was very observant when it came to critically analyzing web content for its visual shortcomings. This speaks at lengths of the greater than ever expectations from web content for following design and usability conventions.
Our strategy was to choose an internationally renowned website, preferably serving content in multiple languages, and use it as a benchmark for comparing websites which weren’t as established. Sylla, was keen on using local Mali websites for this comparative analysis. These websites were posting news content generated on a daily basis and had a significant local viewership.
After having gone over the website of our chosen benchmark, British Broadcasting Company, thoroughly, Sylla came up with two local websites which had content, web design, and the viewership which made for a fair comparison with the benchmark.
Complimenting the comparison with our overall analysis, which comprised of recording our finding on a pre-designed rubric, helped us identify design flaws in greater detail. This really helped us appreciate how web content generated with limited resources tend to struggle when it comes to adhering to higher levels of quality for their content. Once biggest element where local news sites lacked quality was image resolution. Supporting images for news content and other branding content for the news agency were observed to be pixelated, and not of the appropriate resolutions. This lead us to believe how they might have limited budgets or other financial constraints for sourcing images which were of higher resolutions.
How we both reached similar conclusions and identified the same design and usability defects was really insightful. We were both of the idea that because of the increasing frequency with which web content is viewed on a daily basis, design lacking in quality stands out more than ever. In times like these, the need for testing our websites for usability and stellar design is greater than ever.