Walt Clarke critiques The Nanny Finder Web Site
The Nanny Finder
doesn't meet client expectations...
The site uses background colors that would appeal to someone looking to hire a nanny, but the feel of the site does not meet the professional level/look that a parent is looking for. The concern of a parent, the typical end user of a site, is for the children. The site should reassure professionalism.
A more professional look may be achieved with better alignment.
The different sections (boxes/frames) are not aligned. The left hand side of the page may be combined into one single menu with different subtopics. Options to select are randomly placed around the home page and there is no assurance of security or references. There is no way for a user to know the sites past success or success stories; again something that a parent would want to see immediately. The most obvious fault of the home page is the commercials/links for items that have nothing to do with finding a nanny. "Unclaimed Money" is known to be a popular scam, seeing this particular link on a site that you are entrusting to find someone to take care of your children is a mistake.
Design and Layout - The graphics on the site are lacking, the only picture is one small graphic in the middle of a page of a woman (the webmaster). The site should have graphics that portray a relaxed, safe home setting. Images on the site should promote an trusting and safe environment. The remainder of the graphics on the sits are banner ads and links to other sites. Also the banner adds are flashy and rotate continuously, very distracting from what inappropriate for what the site is trying to accomplish.
The color scheme is mostly complementary, where the background is light blue and the menus' background is white. The problem is the rest of the ads and random links across the site that does not fit in that color scheme. The layout of the site is cramped, the main message is in one paragraph centered in the middle of the site, and all links are text. The site should have a separate page that provides instructions to the user. The home page should have a very little text, and images or buttons should bring the user to the next step. The site draws the user to the flashing links that rather than the services of the site.
Reader Usability - The site is not understandable. The exact service provided escapes me even after reading the text. The site collects money from the user and then places adds with other sites? What is the exact service offered by the site? If the site is more like a middle man, the first page should offer an image of the end result and deeper pages should explain who the partners are and what how the goal is accomplished.
Not knowing the exact service offered, I have no idea what the links provided on the left side menu are intended to do. The last thing a user is going to do is read the text in the middle of the page. There is a contact link on the menu that opens an email link. Most users now-a-days do not use an email application rather have an web based email address. The contact information should be a sub menu, and should list both the email address and the phone number. Other than contact there is no ‘help' or FAQ feature on the site, again not creating a sense of security. All ads on the site and all gifs are a distraction on the site. If the links are partners used by the site, the site should list them in a separate underlining page.
It looks like the web master will then place ads in other companies providing the same service. The site could be easily automated with off the shelf software that allows the collection of credit card payments and automatic generations of receipts. A web form can be easily set up through FrontPage that allows the site to collect the desired profile of a nanny or the desired qualification of a nanny.
The navigation is also cumbersome, there is no way for a user to click on a sub level page and then easily return to the home page. The browser's back button is the only way to do so.
Meeting Expectations - If the site is built as an advertising site to get traffic to other sites performing nanny to family matching, then it's doing a better job than what it advertises itself to be doing. The site looks like it attempts to link families to nannies, and if I were to judge the site based on that I would say that it does not meet the expectations of a user. The user at first glance has no idea where to go, the only way to proceed through the process is to read the text provided and put your trust in an email, a small picture of a webmaster and a PayPal account. The blinking lights and color scheme do not give users a ‘comfortable' feeling something that a parent will require in order to proceed. I would have to say that the site does not accomplish what it set out to do.
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