Blog Post Two: Usability critique

For this post, I chose to take a look at Vox Magazine’s website. I did some work for Vox last semester, most of which was for the website, so I wanted to take an “unbiased” look at the site and see how the average user would rate its usability.

The homepage has a simple color palate; mostly black, white, a touch of blue and tan here and there. Some pictures accompany the headlines for various links to stories, which definitely makes the page more visually appealing. At the top of the page, there are various tabs to click on that explore specific topic areas: home, news, food & drink, arts & pop culture, and Vox Magazine. Below those tabs is another row of subtabs labeled home, VoxTalk, Restaurant Guide, Calendar, Video and Spring Preview. There is also a search bar on the right side of the screen, near the side column that also contains links to pages and articles. The homepage itself is broken up and neatly organized by topic category so users can easily navigate to what they’re looking for using a variety of methods.

The headlines for the most prominent articles were either bolded or were in larger print, making it easy for readers to navigate to the articles they’re interested in. The bylines provide a brief glimpse at what the article entails, and is in much smaller print. Each page hosts a side column with the most popular stories at the time, which I think is a great tool for generating traffic to other links on the site.

Overall, I’m pleased with the presentation and usability of Vox’s website. It’s layout and color scheme isn’t too loud, and adds just a pop of colors here and there with the pictures and links. it’s easy to find exactly what you’re looking for via the tabs, the search bar, the organization of the page, and the ease with which you can navigate from story to story based on personal preferences. My only critique would be to jazz up the fonts they use, as some of them are far too small, and others don’t accurately represent the kind of “zest” Vox has. Otherwise, I think the presentation is great and the usability is great for a user of any level.

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2 thoughts on “Blog Post Two: Usability critique

  1. I agree that the website is really usable and nice to look at. It’s definitely a step up from the old layout. The monochromatic elements work well on the website, although I do agree that few elements on the website really reflect the Vox “voice.” One of the best parts of the redesign for me is how the Vox Talk blog is now fairly integrated with the rest of the site. I think the large featured photos help give the site a more “magazine” feel as well.

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  2. I am also very familiar with the Vox website. It is interesting to take a look at something that you are so familiar with and critique it from an unbiased perspective. The one major thing that I would change about the Vox website is that pizazz that can be found in the print version is simply missing from the online presence. In print and iPad, each department page is denoted by a bright pop of color. I would love to see something similar to this online. It’s just a totally different feeling.

    Another thing I would change about the Vox website is the homepage. Like we talked about in class, the carousal on a font page just isn’t super functional. I do not think it serves our readers, considering a majority of them come to a specific article on the website. I do think the website has a nice presentation overall. It is easy to navigate and easy on the eyes.

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