Retake on Competitive Analysis: Homestead Community Land Trust

 URL: www.homesteadclt.org

Taking a second look at this site is different for me since in my initial analysis I was looking at collecting design/layout elements and basic facts. Now I’m taking a look to accomplish the following tasks as if I was a first time user.

Tasks to complete:

• Orientation to site/how do I navigate it
• Purpose of the site
• Purchase a house
• Contact Information

As of today, May 24, 2010, I can’t take the tasks in order. Even before I was able to orient myself to the site I immediately saw an ad for “New Homes Currently Available through Homestead” that dominated the page. This means that task number three has been accomplished in a fraction of a second. 

And if I was looking for a house, the current look of the site is perfect. Of course I would have to already know what HCLT did and why I was seeking their site. If I didn’t know the purpose of HCLT, the ad would make me wonder about their purpose and if they were a real estate site. It would also lead me back to orienting myself to the site and how I can navigate to view their content. This process takes a few seconds longer and once I notice that the site navigation is in the left hand column I can start looking for the purpose of the site. “What is CLT?” is the first navigation item I click on and it takes me to a Q & A on CLT and why I might be interested. What is interesting in that I clicked on “What is CLT?” instead of the “About us” navigation link that is further down on the list. The “Contact Us” is also listed at the bottom of the navigation list and I only got to it because I decided to start clicking on all of the top level navigation links in the left hand column. So basically I had to click and view four different pages before I got to the contact information. Not only did it take me a couple of minutes, but I got distracted and off task. If HCLT only used their site to advertise homes, it would have been successful. However, I already know that it also wants to get folks to donate and they are even advertising for a job. But that means that you have to look in the right hand column instead of using the main left hand column navigation. How odd.

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