This is one of the exercises I use with my class to generate discussion about design.
It is important to give students practice in discussing design. Don't
make them feel uncomfortable, on the contrary, encourage discussion of
these sites. Some of these sites have since changed (from 2/96).
Remember to consider meaningful placement of graphics- pieces that
complement object informationwhich enhances the browser's trip
through the space. Interweaving of the text and links within
descriptive paragraphs also mirrors this integration.
Design and Interaction
Here are some sites to evaluate based on our class discussion about
I want you to go to these sites and see if you agree or disagree with
my short comments. Add your own sentence or two to the list. Most of
these comments don't consider depth. How does design factor into
- Human Interface Technology Lab Home Page
This site uses design quite deceptively. The graphic at the top of the
page is nice and plays upon the mental model of "interface," but does
little to orient the browser. Similarly, the "clean" breakdown of the
topics is not descriptive or informative. I would expect more from
such a site.
- InterFace Magazine
The developers of this site have concentrated their work on making
their page distinctive. Again the opening image doesn't situate the
viewer, but it does use texture and depth to suggest the importance of
the interface. The uniqueness of the bullets impacts the browser
visually, but doesn't particularly help in navigation. What do you
think of the color for the text? Is it readable? If you use dark
backgrounds, I highly recommend you increase the font size to
- FringeWare Inc.
This site has been changed quite a bit since its inception. However,
I really like their innovative use of graphics. The large graphic at
the top of the page is a bit clunky, but it does get your attention.
What do you think of their use of fonts/graphics? What kind of style
do you think they emulate?
- Macmillan USA Information SuperLibrary
This is obviously a well-supported web site for a large publishing
firm. Their image-map is a useful, well-orchestrated composition that
weighs aesthetic appeal more heavily than functional design. The
footer map at the bottom of their linked pages (not on the index page)
is fairly clear, concise, and is a beautiful presentation of this
site¼s data container for easy maneuverability within the site.
- EgoWeb-Felipe's Home Page-Ain't I beautiful?
This is probably one of the legendary home pages on the net, at least
around UT-Austin. It represents a huge body of data and compilations
as well as an interesting presentation of that data that periodically
shifts forms and colors. It incorporates Felipe's personality as well
as serving an informational and "playful" purpose and it accounts for
multilanguage usage. What do you think of his color usage?
- The Internet Movie Database
This is an example of a site that is well organized, but visually
unappealing. The amount of information it contains is staggering and
might come in handy as a research site for some of your papers. The
graphic at the top is nice though and a very new addition to the site
(it used to be worse).
- Dr. FellowBug's Laboratory of Fun and Horror
Claire recommended this site to me and the interface is truly fun.
The images are engaging and original. Although it's not clear what
the links meanăthat's part of using this particular interface. The
rhetorical motivations are definitely different at this site. What
aspects of the site do you like? Which annoy you?
Back to Integration Page.