So I checked out a site for a project that is like a documentary to get the word out about the water in our lives.
First, I want to say that if you normally use Internet Explorer, you will encounter problems when trying to view this site. After I watched the main video, there were frames that collapsed and condensed up into lines at the top of the page. Underneath, were four boxes that when I clicked on them took me to random sites. So, I switched to Mozilla FireFox, and then the site worked properly.
The main video is really interesting and held my attention, but at the end I wondered what the exact point was because there was no text or talking to explain. The beginning of the video were clips of how water is used. Then, at the end there is a dry pool, a desert, and an old man breathing in like his mouth is dry. So, I concluded that this video is telling me that humans need to conserve water. There is also a clip of a woman putting up her umbrella, and I think that maybe was the most telling -like she is preparing for what is to come -like something bad is to come to prepare for.
After the video ended, because of FireFox, I was able to click on the pictures that had collapsed before. Running my cursor over them, interesting facts showed. If you click on these pictures it will take you to more slides and videos to watch that talk more about water and situations that involve it. There are light blue dots at the bottom of the screen that I thought I could click on as well, but they turned out to be just another way to get to the slides and videos that you could watch by clicking on the pictures. That was a little confusing. I think that the dots could be eliminated because they aren’t needed if I can get to the same information by clicking the pictures that appear after the first main video.
The slides and videos give information and statistics. Below the videos is a lot of writing. It is very informational and interesting, but there is a lot. Maybe a suggestion would be to try and condense that, but it is there for those who want to read further, and for the ones who do not care to, can just watch the video. Because the video is at the top of the slide, some may not know though that all that info is down further. I just happened to move the roller on the mouse and it moved me down there. I really liked how most of the slides were interactive. For example, you could calculate your own approximate water usage, and you had to drag your way through certain slides.
One of these slides explains where water comes from, and I thought maybe that one should have come first. But, you could look at it that it was good to get some of the more interesting material out first.
Finally I clicked on the two word links at the bottom right that explained just what this project was and who was doing it. I will admit that until I clicked on these, I was not sure what the site wanted of me. There was never a direct call to action, such as, cut down on my water usage, or start showering in rain water, or donate to the “100 Gallon” cause. This is really just a documentary trying to educate the public. If you click on the link it will take you to the team and their contact info. For me, I would have just appreciated some of this information to begin with so I knew going in what I should try and get out of this. Because instead of totally absorbing the message of each slide and clip, I felt like I was searching for the overall purpose of the project.
Overall, I think the website was very well done. It was very interesting and interactive. I think because you never leave the page, you never feel lost, and you know I just have to click these pictures to pull up the next portion of information.
When I had someone else check out the site, they initially were intrigued by the beginning video of water in everyday life. After that video they naturally clicked on the picture frames to pull up the other slides and videos. This was natural because they appeared after the first video automatically. And they didn’t even notice the light blue dots at the bottom of the slide, so that was not a navigation issue for them. This person did not click on the same pictures in the same order as I did, but that was just a personal choice. They did not read all the typed info under the videos. They also did not ever click on the “About” or “Why 100 Gallons” link buttons at the bottom. I asked why and they said that these did not stand out to them to click on.
I think navigation was really simple- all you had to do was click on the pictures that automatically appeared after the opening video. They utilized multimedia. And you never left their page, so you could keep track of what you had explored.
I think the biggest thing that could be changed about the site is making the “About” information easier to find. They could have it be one of the picture frames that you can click on.