Genre Analysis of U.S. Coast Guard, White House and EPA

Group: Ana and Flair

Genre: Government

Sites:

U.S. Coast Guard(ours)

White house 

EPA

Similarities:

  • Both of them have  navigation bars at the top and one or a few  feature pictures beneath.
  • Similar two columns layout
  • Social media sharing links on the home page
  • multi-media content
  • Very clear designator of what agency page you are looking at.
  • Clear access to stories
  • Search bar very clear at the top
  • privacy, security and FOIA informational links

Differences:

  • White house has twitter updates presence
  • Color choice
  • EPA has clear links for the page in other languages
  • Information for FAQs is front and center on the EPA site, as well as a map for regions.
  • Coast Guard has a simple column with links to stories not information down the center, with a cluster of link images at the bottom.
  • There are more links in the navigation bar at the top of the CG page, with more information and links spread out over the other two.

Effectiveness of Design:

U.S. Coast Guard

First of all, the website does have a delicate presence, for example, the low quality of the fonts. This affect the viewer’s first impression. Then the biggest drawbacks of the design of the navigation is that there’s no more links of the second navigation bar on the top. The consequence is that viewers are not clear about what each item for until they get into it. Thus, they need to be back and forth between different pages.

White house

In general, the design of the website is aesthetically pretty as well as functional. It has clear links of the navigation bar which make a good path for people to get the information they look for. In terms of the feature news and stories, they are well organized into two columns and have the rotating function. By doing this, the website is able to save space to clearly present more content.

EPA

Generally the website does a good job of being functional and well-orgnized. The viewers are able to quickly get a sense of what kind of information the website offers by the section of popular topics. The design of the website is based on clearly knowing the needs of their audience.

Scenario

Mark is a 36 year old business owner on the New Jersey Shoreline. He owns a restaurant that specializes in sea food. The restaurant is esp busy during the holiday season (summer or around Thanksgiving and Christmas) He is worried that the storm will close him down because the economy has been so tough, and because there was flooding in his restaurant. He has a family of a wife and three younger kids. He gets his fish for his store from local fishermen some of whom lost their boats in the storm.  He also fishes for his own catch from time to time. He is looking for news on the storm since he hears there are some bad winter storms coming too, but more important to him is to check and see if his area is safe from the EPA standpoint so he can possibly encourage customers to come back. He is also curious about government stipends and help to rebuild and just in case the business doesn’t come back.

Coast Guard

Mark heads to the Coast Guard page to see if there is any information on the fishing fleets, or any information on areas that are closed. Getting to the Coast Guard page, he has to scroll all the way to the bottom to see anything that specifically has to do with Sandy. When he clicked on the newsroom button it took him to all the Coast Guard news without any real guidance of what goes where. Clicking on the Sandy link at the bottom it takes him to a page with a bunch of stories about the rescues. There are links on the right hand side of the Sandy information but no clear guidance about fisheries, something he knows that Coast Guard works with NOAA about. He takes some time reading the different stories about the response but the after the storm help he was hoping to find for fishing or for his fisherman friends is elusive. He does find an article about reopening the ports but it doesn’t offer much help.

White house

Mark goes to Whitehouse.gov, and immediately sees an image with a link “Hurricane Sandy” and clicks on it. Following the link he watches a little bit of the video at the top of the page but realizes pretty quickly that he can find the information faster in other ways and scrolls down. He clicks first on get help and sees that there is a place for him to find help for his family as well as his business. He also finds links for safety when recovering for a disaster something he hadn’t even really thought much about being that he was so concerned for his business. When he clicks on the small business assistance link he gets a message saying he is leaving the White house webpage. He is then sent to the Small Business Administration page where he can register his business for help. Going back to the page he clicks on resources and finds links to other sites that can help his family and business recover as well.

EPA

Mark goes to EPA.gov because he remembers reading somewhere that they played a part in the recovery from Hurricane Katrina and he knows they might be able to help him with understanding the damage that might come from the gas stations up the road that were destroyed in the storm.  He is also worried about the drinking water for his family. Landing on the homepage he sees two options, the map with regions he can click on, or  a link for Hurricane Sandy. Clicking on the state of New Jersey right at the top of the next page he finds a link for Hurricane Sandy. Looking at that page he can easily find the link for how to disinfect drinking water, there is some helpful information but there is nothing there to help him figure out if his tap water is safe or not. There is a link to show him more questions and answers. Clicking on that link he finds information right at the top on how to take care of his kids as well as lots of links on how to take care of everyone, and get help when needed.
U.S. Coast Guard  Do-s/Don’t-s
Do:
  • Re-organize the content in a better way. Put the recent news and trending topics like Sandy in the catchy positions of the home page
  • Improve the quality of fonts and imagines
  • Keep necessary space to keep different sections apart
  • Provide more links of the navigation bar
  • Re-design the presence of recent news for saving space for more content
  • Provide more side bars for better navigation

Don’t

  • use similar font type and size for different content which give the viewers a hard time to differentiate them.
  • put too much content in a word format to distract the viewers. Use more functional navigation bar and links to arrange the content in a clear way.

White house Do-s/Don’t-s

Do:

  • Provide the rotating function of the feature pictures and news
  • Put the information of mobile platform access on the home page instead of navigation bar. –make this information more obvious that drives more traffic

Don’t

  • The audience might not have a great connection when you are using so much imagery and video (ie the video on how to help)

EPA Do-s/Don’t-s

Do:

  • The home page has three columns, which seems like a little bit crowded. Two columns will be a more clear and comfortable presentation of the primary content
  • Use consistent color setting both for words and imagines in order to provide a more clean impression
  • Rethink the links of the navigation bar. Because there are some overlaps with other links somewhere else.
  • Keep the consistent layout for showing the content in different language.It would be easier for viewers to do comparison for a particular section

Don’t

  • Use the paragraph format for the content. For example, the ” contact us” page. The web presence should be concise and straight forward. The paragraph format takes the viewers more time to find out about the whereabouts of the information.
  • put too much content and leave necessary space
  • overuse different font. Keep the consistency

 

One response to “Genre Analysis of U.S. Coast Guard, White House and EPA”

  1. Kathy E. Gill says :

    Realistic scenario and persona. Steps are detailed. Be careful with abbreviations (esp for especially), capitalization (White house for White House) and grammar. Would cause demerits in final deliverables.

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