3 Good Websites

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Oct 042011

1. Stonehenge Veterinary Hospital

The first website I have chosen is www.stonehengevetinaryhospital.com. Following a current trend in web design, this is an example of a one page website. All of the content is delivered on a single page. This tends to work well for websites that do not have much content, and works like an online brochure for businesses that do not offer a lot of services.

Despite only having one page, the site still has navigation, but each link brings you to a different part of the page as opposed to a different page. The user can either scroll through the whole page or navigate from the top. Each section has an option to return to the top of the page.

The sections are well laid out, and broken up by testimonials and illustrations. The welcome blurb at the top of the page gives a brief summary of the business, so the user

immediately knows what the site is about and if they’re in the right place. It includes all the information a person might need, including lists of services, opening hours and a map. Everything is quite easy to find.

Aesthetically the site is very clean and minimal, but maintains a friendly and welcoming feeling. Factors that contribute to this are the use of bold shades of blue, green, orange and red as highlights, and the illustrations. The type is of a good size and always readable throughout the page.

The site promotes a feeling of trustworthiness through the testimonials, the sections on each of the doctors complete with friendly photos, and the “fun” facts illustrating their knowledge of different breeds/species.

This is an example of responsive web design. The layout changes depending on the size of the display, meaning it looks good on phones and ipads.

My main criticism of the site is that it does not give an option for people to contact the clinic online, through email or otherwise. Only a phone number is provided. I think the site would greatly benefit by having a contact form at the bottom of the page.

2. The Girl Effect

The second website I have chosen is http://www.girleffect.org/ which is a charity website.

I like this website because of it’s strong visual impact. Each page is a different bright colour with an illustration and a single statement at the top of the page. Straight away, it gets right to the point and is essentially shouting it’s message at you through the large font sizes and bright colours. There are arrows on each page, one pointing at the navigation so that the user knows which page they are on, and one pointing below the fold to encourage you to scroll down and read on. The arrows are consistent through the site and serve to guide you through the content. There is always a next step and a call to action. I also like that the copy is straightforward and to the point.


3. Topshop

The third website I have chosen is an e-commerce site, www.topshop.com.

I think this site is good because it has managed to stay looking clean and minimal despite the huge amount of content it delivers. I think the typography is well done, because although the type is often very small, it’s still readable due to the high contrast of black/grey on white. There is a lot of negative space which makes the products pop visually. The navigation is well designed, so there isn’t any confusion about where to start or how to find what you’re looking for.

It also has high quality content other than just the products, including mood boards, lookbooks, fashion features eg. stories and street style photos.

There is a box on the side of each section which allows you to sort down through the masses of products very easily. For example in the dresses section, you can very quickly choose your preferred style of dress, then your size, preference of colour and budget, very quickly creating your own tailored page of results. The search funtion also works well, although before today I’ve never needed to use it because it is so easy to find things through the navigation, due to good information architecture.

The checkout is also well designed and lets you know which step of the process you are on.

Overall I think the site looks good, is very user friendly and easy to navigate, and has good content.