Evaluating Websites Usability - comparing 5 websites.

Authors Avatar by k00143617 (student)

Higher Diploma in Software Development

Web Development – Practical 2

Evaluating Websites Usability

Website 1:  www.lit.ie

First Impressions:

  • URL is Good, Short, and very intuitive.
  • Download time is slow with image slideshow and animations loading at noticeably different times.
  • Home page seems cluttered with image slideshow on top, rolling text, links to videos. Text is readable and has a tool on the top tool bar for changing text size (Although this function only works on some text not all). Simple colours with red and blue being main colours used.
  • Only 40% of home page on one screen, scrolling up/down required.
  • Is obvious that it is home page to a college or learning institute with pictures of recent graduates, Links to college related links i.e. “Study @ Lit “ , “Current Students” etc clearly visible.
  • Moving mouse over key words on top tool bar gives drop down menus of links to all aspects of the Institute.
  • When hovering over the “About” keyword on the top tool bar, the pop down menu clearly details contact details, links to relevant information and presidents welcome note all increasing user confidence in site.


  • Tool bar gives clear choices with drop down menu offering more detailed links
  • Site Map on bottom of webpage offers clear links to all relevant information.
  • Navigational links visible on the top tool bars remain for all LIT pages making it easy to navigate through.
  • An internal search engine is missing only a search engine for finding course is visible.
  • No internal links when reading text.


  • Content is relevant to the Institute with links to all aspects of college life. With large link to “Online Prospectus” on main homepage.
  • The image slideshow does show some good pictures of the college and recent graduates. All the content on page looks informative with a rolling window of current news relating to the college. When in the college, this page is quick to load but when looking at this page from home all the graphical content takes considerably less time.
  • All content is very up to date with upcoming events with brief description and links in rolling text and below that a calendar with events for current month clearly shown.
  • There is no FAQ’s but the top tool bar presents all information clearly and concisely.
  • Page is chunked quite well. As you scroll down the page different heading can clearly be seen with heading links.


  • No Competitions, Special Offers or Freebies (not really expected on college website).
  • Again News and events clearly shown.
  • Some Good External Links provided Links to “Department of public expenditure and reform”, “The European Social Fund” and “Enterprise Ireland”.
  • There is no links to a newsletter.


  • URL is short just being  which is acronym for “Limerick Institute OF Technology”.
  • No Keywords list found in source.
  • Partners and Affiliate websites are not visible on main page.

Making Contact:

  • Contact details are only visible through top tool bar, when cursor is hover5ed over the “About” link a drop down menu appears detailing.
  • Staff Directory
  • Phone
  • Fax
  • Address

Browser Compatibility:

  • Screen shot were taken through browsershots.org in FireFox18.0, Safari 6.0  , and Google chrome 23.0
  • All screen shots remained the same throughout all.

Knowledge of Users:

  • Lit is not an adaptive website when a course is looked up it does not send you to similar courses.
  • Lit keeps no memory of your last visit or any previous visit to highlight content to users.

User Satisfaction:

  • Home page did not crash or has not been off-line.
  • All Links bring you to clear menus where specialised links can be accessed. Very user friendly and easy to read.
  •  Lits main selling point is the offering of courses to would be students. There are links to apply for course through the CAO system or directly to Lit. This is good but does not offer a status report on how the application progressing.

Other Useful Information:

  • In the “About” drop down menu there is good link to “Academic Council”, Freedom of Information”, “Governing Body”, “Report/ Procedures/ Plans” and “Useful links”. These links add to the value of the site to show it is regulated and a legitimate educational Institute website.

Website 2:  

First Impressions:

  • URL is long and doesn’t relate to site content
  • Download time was fast as just that no images
  • Homepage seems all over the place with very little site structure and every heading in a different colour with a background of black.
  • Only 40% of homepage visible on screen.
  • Very hard form first impressions to see what this site is offering or informing the user of what content is within.
  • There is a series of mixed links on top of screen none of which give a clear detail as to what information might be received when clicked.
Join now!


  • Links are sore on the eyes to look at with mad colours, With the bold links to “Home”, “Poetry”, “Featured Articles”, “Reviews”, “Publications”, “E Magazine”, Archives”, “Links”, and “BARRY TEBBS MENTAL HEALTH BLOG SITE”. These links offer no information about what the user is viewing with their content in dreadful colours and hard to read text.
  • There is no Site Map to aid in navigation.
  • Different links bring you to the same content with “Feature Articles” and “Barry Tebb – An Introduction” leading to the same.
  • When reading text there are no internal links.



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