UX Unit 1: Analyze Design

I completed Design 101 last week and have just began Phase 1 of UX Academy. Our first assignment is to look at three mobile applications we think are designed well and two which we think could use improvement. Let’s dive in!

I am approaching each of the following websites using something I learned about in Design 101 — the design version of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. I will not go through each individual of the layers of the pyramid, but, instead, will provide an analysis based on them.

Website 1:

Glossier: https://www.glossier.com

About: Glossier is a makeup brand catering to mainly women (and men) who are interested in makeup.

Analysis: I think this is a very good website. The title (Glossier) is placed in the middle of the top part of the website and is bold and black against a white background. The white background gives the site a clean finish and there is not much clutter. The various pages are placed in tabs at the top left corner of the side and are easily accesible. There is also a clear call to action with the pop up email window. This draws the user’s attention becuase of the bright blue “submit” button that contrasts against the other muted colors of the website. Overall Glossier’s site has a very fresh and minimalist (and is reliable) feel to it.

Website 2:

Fire and Ice Dragons: http://fireandicedragons.com

About: Fire and Ice Dragons is an online bearded dragon retailer. Their target audience is everyone since people of various ages, genders, and backgrounds might be interested in purchasing a bearded dragon.

Analysis: The website works but does not go much beyond that. If you click on a link it will get you to where you are trying to go. Differentiating between what is and isn’t a link, however, is another feat. Some of the underlined red text (i.e. “bearded dragon breeders”) takes you to another page while other underlined red text (i.e. “view the site”) does little more than leave you wondering why you’re not being redirected anywhere. The website’s name is clear in the banner across the top of the page but the typography in the round badge is difficult to see. Overall the website is quite outdated. Bearded dragons are awesome animals/pets, but this breeder’s website makes buying one quite a task.

Website 3:

Chipotle: https://www.chipotle.com

About: Chipotle has a target audience of pretty much everyone because who doesn’t love it?! Chipotle is the fast food version of a sit down Mexican restaurant and is visited by all different people.

Analysis: Chipotle’s website is simple yet good. It is both reliable and functional. You know that each link will get you to where it is supposed to and it all makes sense. The main hero image is pleasing to the eyes as it contains white text on a contrasting black background. Also,the company’s badge stands out in the top left corner. Something that I would change would be to increase the size of the tabs, but other than that, I consider this to be a good website.

Website 4:

Zales: https://www.zales.com

About: Zales is a website whose target audience is men and women of various ages who are looking to buy jewelry for themselves or others.

Analysis: This website is not necessarily bad, but it is not great either. The tabs for the different pieces of jewelry (e.g. wedding, earrings, rings, etc.) are visible but they do not stand out. The name of the brand is clear. Like Glossier, it is in bold black letters against a white background. What really stands out is the picture of the rings in the middle of the screen. Overall, I expect a jewelry website to feel luxurious and inviting. Zales’ website is functional and reliable but does not feel more elegant than, say, Chipotle’s.

Website 5:

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com

About: Pinterest is catered towards mainly women. It provides people with the opportunity to upload, or “pin,” pictures (and videos) relating to a vast field of things (from recipes to fashion to DIYs) and to “repin” other people’s pins that they like.

Analysis: I think that Pinterest is another example of a good website. Their logo is visible in the top left corner and is red against a white background, making it stand out. The posts/pins are organized in five columns, and even though they are not all the same size, the website still looks and feels organized.

Overall: Based on the websites analyzed above, there are certain factors that make a website “decent” and others that make it “great.” Like the design version of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs states, all websites need to be functional and usable. The user needs to be able to know where to click in and be able to get to where they want to go. However, for a website to be great, it needs to looks nice and attractive and not feel outdated or too overwhelming. This has been a very interesting assignment and has allowed me to view some websites I visit on a regular basis through a new lens.