Five

Drive.google.com is a marvel of the internet and small data storage. It is a website I use as a more reliable flash drive. It allows users 15GB of storage for free, and then small monthly fees if you want more. I have never had problems with the site, with the exception that you need a wifi connection to access it, similar to literally all other websites. The header contains the Google logo and a search bar, in case you misplaced your files. It has a few icons at the top: a bell, a 3x3 dotted grid, and a sillouhette if you did not upload a profile picture. I do not think that these icons are well put, because I really don’t know what a bell or a grid would stand for. Upon clicking, I see that the bell is for notifications, which I don’t think I have ever received, and the grid is for other Google based apps, like youtube or gmail. On the left side of the page, there is a secondary navigation that is unique to your uploaded content, where all the buttons are the names of your folders. In the middle enlies your content, organized alphabetically. You can easily click through and even preview most files, including Ai files or Psd files, which I find incredibly handy. The color scheme fits the mood of the program. It is white and gray, with the exception of Google’s logo. It is clean, and has a complicated but functional grid system. The other button that I find useful is the Create button, which allows you to compose new folders, spreadsheets, and word documents. The only negative thing is that for new users, the browser’s back and forward buttons take you out of the website, which may be confusing to older users, like my mother dearest.

Four

HBOgo.com is a site similar to netflix, only the service is unique to the Home Box Office company. They provide movies and television shows, and most of them are made by the company, such as Game of Thrones or Band of Brothers. In order to log on to the website, you first hit a loading page with the logo, a simple bit of set type, which looks like a button, and a loading wheel. The color scheme is medium gray, light gray, white, and black. On the home page, there is a giant javascript slideshow, with the most recent or trending episodes or movies. It scroll through automatically after about five seconds, which I find too short of a time to read the post. The slideshow follows a bunch of smaller icon/summaries of trending episodes underneath, so you can easily click back if you didn’t get to read the whole post. The header contains a couple buttons for different content, but no iconography. It, like netflix, benefits greatly from the prominent search bar. Above the bar, there is a login button, but you will be offered that page upon choosing to watch a program. Those who are new to the service might find the website confusing in that there is not a list of shows or movies, but individual episodes and a random assortment of movies on the home page. The thing that I have noticed about HBOGO.com is that is has more trouble loading than most other sites. On my two browsers, as well as other laptops and desktops that I have used, I have to refresh the page at least once to get where I am going. In fact, while studying the website for this summary, I needed to refresh a video clip that I had paused and then it would not continue playing.

Three

Netflix is a subscription based TV and movie streaming website, with heavy javascript functionality. Simple in design, there is a red bar at the top with movie and TV filtering options, by genre, kids, etc, and a search bar that has a handy dropdown menu for finding exactly what you want. There are no icons, just words for all buttons. Below the red bar are dozens of selections of movie titles, by genre, or new, or ones that the user has subscribed to. The interesting thing here is that the categories are rarely the same. Based on your viewing history, Netflix will generate different lists from a huge number of obscure subgenres. This can be frustrating for users who don’t know the title of a show that was there before, and has since been replaced with another list of movies. The website benefits from a variety of javascript functionality, such as a continuous scroll on all the lists, however the website itself is not responsive in it’s design. Upon hovering over a movie title, a play button appears along with a description of the movie title, making it useable and fun to scroll through.

Two

Craigslist is a very basic and expansive website that allows people to do a number of things. To start, the website is divided by area. It started in San Fransisco, and now they have thousands of locations across the world. Anyone, even without an account, can post to numerous forums, including selling things, dating, rideshares, jobs, events, housing, etc. All content is user generated. The architecture seems to have four main stages. The first is the page that allows the user to select the desired location. The second takes you to a home page with all of your forum options, and the third is a list of posts, by date posted, in the forum the user selected. The last is a simple page containing the full post. There are side pages with more complicated and in depth informations, but normally the user would not use those. The design is awful. It is simple, but there is so much content that it is too confusing, especially for a first time user. The type is simple, a computer-esque sans serif in a couple weights is all that they have. The logo is just, “Craigslist,” in a basic serif font. There are a two side navigations and one larger middle column with all the forum titles. The thing that craigslist really benefits from is the search bar, and that is pretty prominent on the left navigation. The website also unique because it doesn’t have a top navigation, only the side navigations, which may make more difficult to navigate. The whole website is difficult to navigate and hard for beginners to grasp. The real allure doesn’t come from the website itself, but the content. The color is super basic, just a white background, and some gray lines to divide the navigation bars from the main content. The text is blue, and becomes a purple when clicked, reminiscent of older browsers and websites.

One

Tumblr.com is a blogging website, where the user follows blogs, and their collective posts form a feed similar to Facebook with your friend’s posts. Navigation is fairly simple, with a search bar blended into the blue background, but search can be useless for individual posts, but rather just users. At the top of the feed, there is a panel for the user to post content, so buttons and icons for a text post, a video, a picture, etc. The feed is similar to other feed based websites, if you get to the bottom, the page loads more content to scroll further down. Other things that the website utilizes is a blog and account panel, allowing control over posts, followers, and the look of your website. The account panel shows who you follow, and past, “liked,” content. The final panel is for a recommended blog, the blog of the day or the trending blog. It makes for spontaneous exposure to content you may have not seen otherwise.

The design is simple, and utilizes a lot of icons. It sticks to a palette of a gray-blue and shades of white and gray for accent colors. It is easy to find your way to the top, with a, “return to top,” button that follows you as you scroll, so you don’t have to do it manually. The design is clean, and allows for all sorts of different content to be formatted into a steady feed. The typography is unimpressive, the logo is set in a blocky slab serif, and all other content is in what appears to be at least two different sans serif fonts, and then blogger’s content is set in what looks like New Times Roman.

The hardest part of the website to use comes about when you try to customize your website. The grid changes, and there are a lot of seemingly redundant options and icons. There is an area to customize the CSS and HTML but also an upload button for CSS and HTML. There are also two pages for Settings and Account, which in my mind should go together, even though they are on opposite sides of the page. Like WordPress, tumblr can be confusing to new users because of the sheer number of options.