Human Computer Interaction Design Principles Assessment Answer
The purpose of the report is to analyze the website https://www.myer.com.au/ on the Human-Computer Interaction design principles. The desktop version of the website has been used to conduct the analysis. The main features of the website along with the positive and negative aspects of the same have been highlighted in the report. Recommendation and suggestions along with the reviews from two other users has also been illustrated in detail in the report.
The website https://www.myer.com.au/ for the brand MYER is an online retail store that provides the customers with the products belonging to fashion, beauty and lifestyle domain. It also includes a blog that lists some of the latest trends in these fields to assist the users to pick up right choices (Myer, 2016).
The website is mainly divided in to four broad sections as Header, Menu, Body and Footer. The header displays the brand name clearly along with the Search ability to directly reach to the desired option. Along with these, the header comprises of login functionality and the buttons that link to store locator, catalogue, wishlist and bag.
The menu present below the header section has the following options:
- Miss shop
- Kids & toys
- Myer one
Each of the menu option has sub-options present under it with links to the product category. Mouse hover on any of the menu option displays the sub-options present under the same.
The body section of the website consists of a number of product images arranged neatly and the links to buy the same.
The footer section consists some of the common links which the user looks out for such as Contact Us, About Us, services and offers. The bottom right of the footer section displays a link to the popular social networking platforms. The right most vertical pane gives a link to the store location for Myer.
The following wireframe displays a basic design of the home page of the website.
The positive aspects of the website are as listed below:
- Efficiency and Usability
The website has been designed for the user to look out for and shop the products from the fashion, beauty and lifestyle categories. It lists out all the products neatly specific to the categories (Preece, Sharp and Rogers, 2015).
- Reduction of short term memory loads
The displays that have been chosen for the website are kept simple and the multiple page displays are consolidated correctly (Designprinciplesftw.com, 2016).
Navigation is an important aspect of usability in the web design which is a trump card in this particular case. The web site allows easy navigation between all the pages present within.
- Ease of usage
The components of the web site are self-explanatory in nature and the web site is also easy to use in terms of information present and clarity of the same.
- Look & Feel
The entire look and feel of the web site is appealing with its correct choice of theme and colors that goes well with the purpose of the web site.
- Hierarchy of Control
The hierarchy of influence between the various elements and components of the web site are clearly visible and apparent (Trenchard-Seys, 2010). For instance, the zoom feature is enabled in the map that is displayed on the Store Locator page.
There are a few negative aspects about the web site which are as listed below:
The web site should maintain consistency across all of the pages which are one of the prime HCI design principle. However, there is a bit of inconsistency in this case on the catalogue page which does not have the same header and menu section as the rest of the pages.
Header Section for catalogue page – Link: https://catalogues.myer.com.au/catalogue/a-fresh-start/57b68d7yg.html?pid=promotedCatalogue#pageNo=0
- Error Handling
The website also does not score well on the error handling. One instance to support the same is, if a user does not enter anything in the Search box and attempts to search, there is no action that is performed by the site. However, an improved solution would be to display a message informing user to enter a search value in the search box.
- Readability of text
The font size, color and style that have been chosen for the web pages allow easy visibility, clarity and readability. However, there is overlapping of text on a few pages that would not look good to the end user.
Overlapping of text – Link: https://www.myer.com.au/shop/mystore/StoreLocator
Website Review – Other Users
The first review was done by a friend, Sarah. Sarah is a fashion designer and is 35 years of age. She was particularly impressed with the layout and listing of products on the site. She however felt that since the website belongs to the domain of fashion and beauty, the color scheme that has been used could have been a little brighter that would go in contrast with the body and content. She was looking for more of reds, yellows and greens on the site. She was pretty content with the overall user experience.
According to me, the point that is raised by Sarah is quite valid and should be followed considering the theme of the web site. Use of brighter colors will go with the same.
The second review was done by another friend Jacob. Jacob is a banker and is 45 years of age. Jacob found the web site good in terms of the design, color scheme, theme and layout. He however felt that the options such as About Us and Contact Us should have been present on the top of the site rather than at the bottom. He also felt that all-caps text scheme should have been used for the 10 menu options rather than all of them written in small characters.
According to me, the text that is used in the menu options is fine the way it is. However, the other point of concern raised by Jacob is valid. Customers do like to see the Contact Us and About Us options right in front as soon as they open a web site. These shall be move to the header area.
On the basis of the analysis of the web site and the comments received during the review from other users, following improvements have been suggested.
- The images that are present on the website should have an alt-text that can be incorporated easily in the HTML tag for images.
- The user also finds it comfortable to feel connected with the web site through the features such as Contact Us and About Us. Hence, these options should be moved in to the header section of the site.
- The consistency should be maintained across all the web pages. Header and footer section must be kept the same on all the pages.
- The background of the web site can be turned a little more interesting rather than the choice of keeping it all white. A background containing a self-pattern or a different color such as peach or turquoise would make the site more attractive and appealing to the user.
The website for Myer scores well on the interactivity and usability design principles. It fulfills some of the basic requirements of the HCI design principles. However, there are some of the minor issues that were found in the site in terms of consistency and error handling. The review from the two other users also suggests that the web site fulfills the user expectations and has received a good feedback in terms of the user experience. Some of the recommendations such as use of alt text, improvements in terms of consistency, readability and the background color have been suggested to improve the interactivity and usability aspects of the site.
Designprinciplesftw.com. (2016). Shneiderman's "Eight Golden Rules of Interface Design" | Design Principles FTW. [online] Available at: https://www.designprinciplesftw.com/collections/shneidermans-eight-golden-rules-of-interface-design [Accessed 2 Aug. 2016].
Myer. (2016). Myer. [online] Available at: https://www.myer.com.au/ [Accessed 2 Aug. 2016].
Preece, J., Sharp, H. and Rogers, Y. (2015). Beyond human-computer interaction. [online] Available at: https://workgroups.clemson.edu/AAH0503_ANIMATED_ARCH/879Readings/Interaction%20Design%20-%20Beyond%20Human-Computer%20Interaction.pdf [Accessed 2 Aug. 2016].
Sklar, J. (2014). Principles of Web Design. [online] Available at: https://www.nelsonbrain.com/content/sklar28705_1111528705_02.01_chapter01.pdf [Accessed 2 Aug. 2016].
Trenchard-Seys, P. (2010). 11 Principles of Interaction Design explained. [online] Paul Trenchard-Seys / the Short Bored Surfer. Available at: https://shortboredsurfer.com/2010/08/13/11-principles-of-interaction-design-explained/ [Accessed 2 Aug. 2016].
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