Examining a Games Researcher’s Website

A red joystick old-school game controller
A Game Controller

 Amanda Cote’s Website: http://www.amandaccote.com/

 Introduction

I have chosen Dr. Amanda Cote’s professional site to examine. The reason for this is that she is in a similar position to me but at a larger university. She researches similar topics within digital games, too.

Analyzing the Site

Dr. Cote’s website is built as a color-blocked, geometric introduction to her and her research. Her picture appears in the upper left-hand corner along with links to specific pages detailing her areas of research, teaching, publications, and curriculum. A majority of the page is set up in black and white with the text contrasting with the background. This layout seems to be in a good set-up for web accessibility and for screen readers which I admire. I’m going to be changing out my layout for something simpler for these exact reasons. It is a good example of user-friendly navigation being employed.

Green, black, and white About me section of Dr. Cote
A screenshot of Dr. Cote's landing page

Dr. Cote’s website is written in what appears to be a third-person perspective. It is formal and structured in its tone, presenting highlights of her career and academic contributions. As this website is probably intended for other academics and possibly her students, I would say this is a successful tone to take. The writing is clear, concise, and specific without a lot of jargon. This is unique in that academic writing is often full of jargon, but here it is avoided in order to appeal to the widest audience possible.

On Dr. Cote’s other pages of the website, the ability to skim is highlighted. Bullet point lists are used for publications and presentations, for example. In her teaching page, Dr. Cote lists different courses she has taught at the institutions she worked for. There are also links to her teaching statement and a sample syllabus, which are often needed in academia.

A book cover with citations of reviews underneath it.
A screenshot of Dr. Cote's publications page.

Criticisms

One criticism that I have is that there is a page devoted to the curriculum vitae or the CV. If you click on this page, all that is on it is a link to the CV. This seems like a missed opportunity. Too many clicks and you won’t keep your audience engaged. Why not just put it on the website?

Another criticism is that there is limited opportunities for engagement and feedback. You can contact Dr. Cote but not through the website. Contact information is listed in the sidebar under the different pages that can be accessed. This seems like a missed opportunity for folks to be able to reach out directly via the website (even if it is just a link to send an email to the University email).

A green background with address and email of Dr. Cote
Dr. Cote's contact information in the sidebar

Summary

Overall, I would say the site is successful in what it is attempting to do: showcase the work and areas of interest of Dr. Amanda Cote. The writing is clear, professional, and concise, reflecting an business communication style and fits with the academic audience. Dr. Cote uses some multimedia to show off her work, specifically with speaking engagements and publications. While citations are not heavily used throughout, the majority of the information is Dr. Cote’s own work, which is written in citation formatting. The tone and writing style is consistent throughout and the website in total allows for accessibility and the ability (Lucas, 2023).

Sources:
Lucas, Gerald. (September 13, 2023). "Audience-Centric Style in Digital Writing" in From Reading to Writing: A Composition FAQ Textbook. Retrieved October 22, 2023. https://grlucas.net/grl/CompFAQ/Digital_Writing/Style

Ashley Jones

Ashley Jones

I am an Assistant Professor in Communication and Emerging Media at Georgia Southwestern State University. My research expertise focuses on digital games.
Americus, GA