Plants of Utah Site #2
Leona shares a few suggestions
Reviewed by: Leona Wisoker
|In the original review request of Range Plants of Utah, the author commented: This site is intended for those without a botany background, mainly students, teachers, extension agents, and agency employees. The main benefit in this site is easy to understand language rather than the complex terms found in most botany books. It also provides pictures and interesting information about the plants to help people remember it.|
- I liked this site! The pages loaded quickly on my 56K connection - about 15 seconds for the index page and 2-3 seconds on the inner pages. The site is colorful and well organized. I especially like how on the index page the boxy look is offset by the bright, round flowers in the center. I do have a few suggestions (of course!).
- There's a feeling of too many fonts being used. The header fonts of the inner plant description pages, especially, don't really match the feel of the rest of the site - changing those to be the same as on the outer pages would look much better.
A glossary would be a friendly thing to add. There are many specialist words used on this site, and nothing to explain what they mean to an amateur (like myself).
I found the distribution maps to be too small and not particularly useful. These pages were very bland, as if added in as an afterthought. I feel these pages could be really interesting with a little work - perhaps a sidebar on the plant or growing area, some bit of trivia, and some more graphics or content of some sort. Right now they just look empty.
- On the technical side
- I noticed that the distribution maps and plant pages don't have unique titles - many of them use the URL of the page! Maybe this was deliberate, but to me it looks sloppy.
The only other thing missing is a mission statement on the home page explaining what the site is about. It's not entirely clear in the beginning who the target audience is and what information is being offered until you start meandering around the site.
- Closing words
- Overall, however, the content is excellent, and the site is well thought out and designed. I really enjoyed looking this one over.
- Editor Notes:
- Excellent points, Leona -- but I think you were a bit easy on them about those page titles! Folks, the worst thing you can do is have an "untitled" page. This is when the tag is left blank. The next worst thing is having the SAME page title across a span of pages. You'll find that this affects the way Google and the other search engines rank and list the web page -- and they do hold the title tag as an important piece of information for the page.
I agree too with the point about the "About" or "mission" statement. Including this helps establish credibility for the site.
Don't forget to take a look at Bennie Taylor's review of this site as well!