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Website Review of http www.genesism.com

 


 

Congratulations! This is a free usability review from UsabilityInstitute.com. "Usability" refers to how easy and effective it is to use a Web site. Although it involves how a site looks (graphic artwork), it is primarily concerned with how a site works, what you click on, what happens, and whether the site does its job.

  • Perhaps this review is all you need to improve your site. If that's the case, great. Please mention UsabilityInstitute.com if you talk with others who need help with their site. (Bookmark this site)
  • On the other hand, if you would like to put some of these recommendations into action on your site, or get a more detailed analysis, contact us.

The following three sections provide a general analysis of your website from a relatively quick review. Although Web design is still perceived as a highly creative endeavor, there are many aspects of it that call for standardization and compliance with widely established conventions. Implementing even a few of the ideas below can really improve a site.

 

  Part 1: Content Basics
    This first section is intended for typical public web sites (for products and corporate information), but also applies for the most part to intranets and software applications that run in a browser. We've been advocating many of these ideas—in the context of general software—since our 1997 book, Computers Stink, but they've been beautifully enumerated for WWW purposes in Steve Krug's book, "Don't Make Me Think."
      Click for explanation State of the Art, a Model for OthersGreat Work!Does the JobI Can HelpUndetermined/Not ExactlyNot Applicable
Hover for explanation
Comments
  1. Logo in top left, linked to home I Can Help There but not linked. Site uses common right-side placement of Home link but I disagree with this and believe that time will unequivocally side with me.
  2. Tagline I Can Help Not really. "The Cult of Creation" and "Design Solutions," though arguably taglines are not unique or sucessful enough. I'm not suggesting I'm an "ad copy" guy, but it needs something like "World Class, Global Standard Industrial Design."
  3. Welcome blurb I Can Help No. Move the mission statement to the top of the page and edit it a little.
  4. Plain wording Does the Job Yes. I didn't spot any designer's jargon.
  5. No 'happy talk' Does the Job Yes. Site is text-sparse, with English not being the primary language.
  6. Concise wording Does the Job Yes. Same as above comment.
  7. Visited pages are distinguished by link color-coding Does the Job Yes.
  8. "Utilities" are easy to find Does the Job Yes, but trivial... Home, Contact, Feedback.
  9. Search on all pages, with box and button I Can Help No.
  10. "You Are Here" indicator Does the Job OK... the top level nav indicates area by color-coding the tab's bottom edge.
  11. Breadcrumbs' as links I Can Help No. (Then later, spotted them on just one area.)
       

 

 



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Part 2: Visual Design: Fonts, Colors, Layout, Basic Interaction Design, and Accessibility
As we read in a graphic artist's ad, "Technology makes it work but art makes it sell," and you should take heed. We're not graphic artists here at Uinst, but we know good art when we see it and the common denominators that separate good pages from bad are clear. Look at the top sites and you'll see they spell out the following criteria.
  Click for explanation State of the Art, a Model for OthersGreat Work!Does the JobI Can HelpUndetermined/Not ExactlyNot Applicable
Hover for explanation
Comments
1.

Sans-serif fonts

Does the Job Yes, uses Arial. Probably should use Verdana (wider) to fill the space, and looks more elegant for designer's work.
2.

Appropriate background color

Does the Job Yes, white.
3.
Appropriate color hues I Can Help No. The purple, green, pink (bubblegum colors?) is applied somewhat skillfully, but not enough so for a design site (even if more industrial design than graphic) but graphic design is listed. The color scheme is not professional enough for a design site. The choice of hues is not appropriate for an industrial design site.
4.
Visual representation of the information hierarchy I Can Help Needs work. The mix between expertises at the top and other areas on the left is not well enough supported by the use of space, graphics, etc. No instant solution. Look at other sites for guidance. This is a major item.
5.
Conservative quantity of colors I Can Help No. I think the bubblegum colors are a little too much for this site. I'm admittedly not a fan of color-coding sections at the global level. Once in a section, applying a color is OK, but on top tabs, it's usually too heavy-handed. The web is definitely moving toward softer colors, dashed lines, gray backgrounds.
6.
Text sizes are "relative" Does the Job Yes.
7.
Anti-aliased graphics Does the Job Yes.
8.
Graphics' file size doesn't slow navigation Does the Job Yes.
9.
"Alt tags" used well I Can Help Very quick test: no.
10.
Links don't just say "Click Here" Does the Job Yes.
11.
A style sheet (CSS) is used Does the Job Didn't look at code, but seems to apply user's style sheet.

 

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Part 3: Genuine Value: Useful Content & Critical Interaction Design


And now for the hard part. If all of good Web design were as clear-cut as parts 1 & 2, above, you wouldn't need much judgment and there would be a lot more good sites. But the easier the decisions are, the less significant the thinking and effort behind them... and the easier it would be to provide useful content. This section is where you make or break your rapport with the visitor. If you provide real value and give folks enough tools to get to it, they will push past the basic omissions and ignore even the most amateurish art.
  Click for explanation State of the Art, a Model for OthersGreat Work!Does the JobI Can HelpUndetermined/Not ExactlyNot Applicable
Hover for explanation
Comments
1. Questions are answered Does the Job I assume that the example graphics answer the basic visitor question, "Do you design the type of product I need?"
2. Search results get the job done I Can Help  
3. Effective 'click tree' Undetermined/Not Exactly Probably yes. Same as the Visual Representation... item. Site size is small enough that visitors probably find what they want. Just needs a little work on presentation.
4. Conceptual flow from upper left to lower right Does the Job Generally yes.
5. Simple, outline-like site map I Can Help Not present.
6. Primary navigation is obvious Great Work!  
7. Secondary navigation is obvious Does the Job Yes, everything but the top links are essentially secondary.
8. Contact information easily accessible State of the Art, a Model for Others Yes.
9. Links are clear State of the Art, a Model for Others Yes. Link style is not altered at all.
10. Intro panel or animation not excessive I Can Help Eliminate the flashing One Stop Design Shop graphic on the ...Default.asp page.
11. Graphics used only for core message Great Work! Yes.

 

Summation & Next Steps

Overall Rating: Strives / Great Work! Survives / Thrives

Remember this is a superficial review, so for fundamentally sound sites, it tends to be a little forgiving since I don't dig very deeply into genuine user experiences. The following are NOT in priority order.

  1. Find five other industrial design sights and note the color palettes. Apply one. There are ten billion websites; don't obsess over the possibility that you'll invent a new color pallete.
  2. Change "About Pune" to "About Pune India."
  3. Eliminate references to "Cult" as in cult of creation. For an American audience, "cult" has a negative connotation implying excessive behavior.
  4. Change "Graphix" to "Graphics" unless there's a reason.
  5. Remove the Design Solutions graphic from the home page, or make it a main theme.
  6. Eliminate the table borders on the graphics on the home page. Find an elegant model of product shots and mimic its borders and backgrounds.
  7. If targeting English-speaking clientele, have a native edit all text.
  8. There's enough good content but the site needs a lot of UI touch-up work: simple text editing throughout to overcome the language differences; end-to-end reevaluation of the links below the main level, separating recurring links from unique ones; standardization and improvement of layout (tables, borders, colors, backgrounds, image sizes and edges) techniques. This work does not have to be very creative... these elements have been solved on many other pages. When in doubt use a white background and NO other design elements.

Hope this helps and let me know what you think,
Jack Bellis, UsabilityInstitute.com

 


"My interest in usability arose from the pain and tears of patching the wounds of suffering interface designs with the inadequate bandages of help files and user guides." — Daniel Cohen
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