A Web Analysis

A Web Analysis
Photo by Mike Swigunski / Unsplash

This week's assignment tasked the students to choose a website and analyze its content as it related to digital writing in a web environment. I chose two websites and juxtaposed the formatting of each for this endeavor. Both sites (apassionandapassport.com and thewanderingblonde.com) fashioned themselves as travel "bloggers" with standard cookie-cutter 9-to-5's, but offering consumers the ability to get out and see the world without giving up their normal family lifestyle here in the U.S.

Viewing Habits

Sure enough, each time as I viewed both websites my eyes darted immediately to the top portion of the page to see what would capture my attention. According to Chris Barr's, "The Yahoo! style guide: the ultimate sourcebook for writing, editing, and creating content for the digital world," when readers typically view a page, "their eyes sweep horizontally from left to right," often making decisions on whether to stay with that page "in as little as three seconds." Furthermore, viewers "pay the most attention to the content in the top part of the screen" (4). Even more amazing was the "eye-tracking" technology that Yahoo used "to catch a site visitors eye" (4). Astonishing, simply because I fell victim to this when perusing various websites for analysis!

Layout

The layouts of each were interesting. The "Wandering Blonde" site seemed a bit easier to navigate. The font seemed standard (Times, Arial etc.) but the author could have added a few more colors to make the site more vibrant. One thing that stood out, though, was the amount of narrative on her "Home" page, yet after a paragraph or two, she offered the reader the choice to continue with a call-out to "Keep Reading!" I felt this was a good strategy to make the site not solely about her, but to keep the focus on other travel information for the consumer. And, since she has been documenting her travels for nearly a decade, there is quite a bit of content. Thus, a lot of her information has been broken down into bulleted lists, which I found to be helpful.

Meanwhile, I found the "The Passion and Passport" website to be overwhelming. The author certainly "front-loaded" information on the "Home" page but it got to be so much that I didn't quite know where to start. Also, when venturing further into the website, there was no way to get back to the home page without going to the URL to delete some script to get back to the start page! While various fonts were used, I'm not sure that the cursive script (while catchy) was needed, as it became too distracting, as noted in Barr's web writing tips (40).

Nonetheless, both websites kept the tone of the content cheery throughout, as each author's voice conveyed a sense of joy when detailing all the places they traveled to. By and large, the color schemes used were bright and airy which, at times, gave the impression that one was actually traveling!

Calvin Green

Calvin Green

Calvin works as a Technical Writer for ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement) creating tactical training programs for prospective law enforcement candidates. He loves to cook, travel and the outdoors.