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1). Software Downloaded Instruction.
- Does the website use language that promotes usability? Is it clear and concise?
The software vendor site www.adobe.com uses a language that promotes usability. The language used is clear and concise and avoids ambiguity and long statements. The site has identifiable navigation that has clear and concise labels. The text links are in Blue, and it has the Company’s Logo. The text is also scan-able and avoids large chunks of text. The site, in addition, makes sure there is appropriate contrast amid Text and Background. It also has a short page load time.
- How the content is “chunked” or otherwise organized?
The www.adobe.com content is organized into chunks, to enable visitors visually and mentally process the site. The information is chunked into Products, Solutions, Learning, Help, Downloads, Company, and Store. The content is arranged in a clear and systematic system allowing visitors to easily scan and read it. This content chunking makes recalling the information on the site easy and makes the Adobe home page appears clean and clear.
- Are the instructions layered for different audiences? Who do you feel is the primary audience for these instructions?
The instruction on the Adobe site is not layered for different audiences. The primary audience for instruction on the home page is the buyers of the software.
- Are there visual elements that help the user perform the task?
No visual elements that aid the user to perform the task exist on the website. All the aids are textual.
- Does the website provide the user with feedback, such as error messages?
I did not encounter an error, so it was not possible to tell whether the site provide the user with feedback, such as error messages. However, the site has a help and learning section where users can learn about various aspects. In addition, I tried accessing the contact link, and I was provided with the message that, “Please note that we're conducting systems maintenance. We have taken every effort to minimize inconveniences, although some systems will be offline until Sunday night Pacific Time. If you need help with your Adobe products during this outage, please use the online resources available to you or call back next week. We're working to restore service levels as quickly as possible and appreciate your patience.” Thus, the site provides feedback.
- Are there mechanisms in place for users to provide feedback to the website administrator? Are there other important points of contact?
Yes, there are mechanisms for users to give feedback to the website manager. The website has a “Help” and “Contact Adobe” tab that are gateways to contacting the administrators.
- What other usability-related mechanisms do you see in place? What usability mechanisms are missing? How might these present or missing mechanisms affect the user’s experience?
Other than the above, the site has a log in portal where a user can register and log in to the Customer Support Portal. The only mechanism that is missing is an email address to contact administrators, but with the log in portal, this is not necessary.
2). Color Impairment
I visited http://www.vischeck.com/ that shows how a website might look to a person suffering from color vision impairments. After running a simulation, the page suggested I modify the “theme” to the site. This web page presented a web page that a colorblind person would distinguish. The website that a run a simulation for had issues for visually impaired individuals trying to access it. These issues include navigation issues, (navigation bars were ‘image maps’; therefore causing confusion); and design issues (in that the page was full of constantly scrolling text, flashing messages along with pop-up images, which are basically not accessible by the visually impaired).
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