Analysis of a Website

Two hands typing on a laptop
Photo Credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters, Unsplash

I have chosen to analyze the website for Columbus State University’s CSU ADVISE.  

CSU ADVISE is a group of professional academic advisors at CSU who help students achieve their academic goals.  

Target Audience 

The target audience of this website is CSU students, particularly freshman and sophomores. However, the website provides general information for a wider population of CSU students as well as faculty and prospective students.  

Tone, Language, and Clarity 

The tone is formal, professional, and informative. The reader is addressed, in some instances, as “You” for a more inclusive tone. This type of language and writing style come across as effective for giving readers an overview of CSU ADVISE and what they can expect from the services offered—a professional but personalized experience.  

On the landing page, the mission of CSU ADVISE is presented to readers. The language uses some CSU and academia-oriented words, such as a reference to the Early College program that only some readers may already be familiar with. However, the information presented is clear and tells readers what CSU ADVISE does without overwhelming readers with jargon or overly complicated language.  

The tone, language, and clarity remain consistent throughout the website. 

Layout 

The layout is simple but eye-pleasing.  

There is one photo that remains consistent no matter what page is visited. The photo is at the top of the page, like a banner, and shows a building that is part of CSU’s campus. The photo goes well with the color scheme of the website. 

The website uses CSU colors—red, white, and blue—and the text is in short paragraphs that are easily scannable. There is a menu on the right that users can select to navigate easily to different pages for more information; the titles of the tabs are clear and summarize exactly what a user will find at each page. 

For example, the “Locations” page provides the locations of the CSU ADVISE offices and what majors are serviced at each. There are also links embedded that will take readers to a Google Maps page with the location’s address. 

The layout does change slightly from page to page depending on the page contents, but the general rules of the layout remain consistent throughout the website. For instance, the paragraphs remain short and easily scannable, and phone numbers, email addresses, and links are all in blue text to emphasize and set apart information so a user can quickly find what they need.  

Engagement and Accessibility 

Again on the landing page, there is a call to action in the form of a red button with white text that says, “Who Is My Advisor?” The red draws users directly to it, and it is centered to the page. This prompts users to select the button and allows the user to feel in control of the information they are receiving from the website. The button is important because it predicts the most common reason visitors come to the website—to find their advisor—and allows them to more quickly get the information they are seeking out.  

The “Contact Us” page is also a good example of a page that has a call to action and gives access to important information, like contact numbers and office hours, immediately without unnecessary elements in the way.  

Overall, the website encourages engagement with calls to action and tabs for navigating around the website which makes the content more accessible as well.  

Elaine Streeter

Elaine Streeter

Elaine is a creative and professional writer based in Columbus, GA.