Since my controversial post, A Brief GoErie Web 2.0 Evaluation, the GoErie website has changed slightly, adding new Web 2.0 aspects, but forgetting the importance of their web layout. It is not enough to have the most gadgets or widgets…users have to know these options are available to them in order to be used. I decided to illustrate this concept so you can judge for yourself if the website design and layout is the most efficient. Below is a screen shot of the above the fold portion of the site, as displayed on my personal laptop. Feel free to click the image to view more detail of the site.
I decided to highlight the Web 2.0 ish applications that I found on this above the fold portion of the site. This can be seen below. Again, feel free to click the image for more detail.
As you can see, the interactive applications are scattered throughout the page, almost lost within the basic, typical content of the website. RSS Feeds, featured on one of the top navigation menus, or menu bars, are an incredibly simple way to increase traffic to your site. In this example, the RSS Feeds link goes directly to a page that allows people to subscribe for several different GoErie feeds. For example, “Top Stories,” “Teens” and “Sports” are GoErie feeds that are an option to subscribe to. However, the RSS links are more effective when they’re placed beside an aspect of the site that they’d like to follow. For example, “The Latest” section on the left side of the main site would be an ideal location for one of these RSS Feed links, along with the recognizable XML logo.
Text Alerts (SMS) are a type of mobile marketing, and another innovative and new application that would gain attention and increase the visitors of the site if leveraged correctly. This feature should be advertised more than a simple “Text Alerts” link in a navigation menu, and small banner in the below the fold portion of the website, as seen at the right.
The image highlighted in the website screen capture above is part of a dynamic slide show displaying photos regarding recent or current news in the local area. This is the most strategic placement of a Web 2.0 application on the GoErie website. Visit the GoErie homepage to view this dynamic slide show in action.
The last interactive link on this above the fold portion of the website is the DigErie– local search banner. This link takes you to a site that boasts a search feature that displays results from the Erie area websites. Although I am not familiar with this site, and am not sure how accurate the search engine is in turning back relevant and the widest range of results possible, it seems like an extremely useful feature, and I would encourage readers to try it here and report back their opinions!
These are only the Web 2.0 applications that are displayed in the above the fold portion of the GoErie website. It is important to point out that there ARE more. However, we’ll leave the evaluation of the placement and use of these for another post. If I missed anything key in these posts, please correct me, as I do not intend to misrepresent the GoErie website in anyway.
Remember, keep an eye out for the evaluation of Camtasia, Captivate, and Articulate software! Also, keep in mind that I am always available as a professional resource. I would be happy to act as your consultant, optimizing your website and search engine results, or taking advantage of many of my other services. Feel free to email me with any matters you would like to discuss.