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Evaluation of Makezine.com Website

Question:

Discuss About The Improvement In Development Of The Software?

Web design should follow all software development methodologies as requirement from good practices of software development. In website development, responsiveness is an aspect which has to be met in order to produce quality product. In this regard, this report will focus on evaluating the quality of the makezine.com website. This will be done by determining which good practices has been met, violated and how they have been met of violated. Further, this evaluation and assessment will have to determine how violated software good practices can be solved and possible areas of improvement in the development of the software. The main goal of the report will be focusing on user interface interaction and functionality of the software (MARCOTTE 2014, p. 59). To have an effective website, developer has to focus mainly on functionality of the system because failing to achieve the core function of the system means inability to develop quality software. System functionality should be met since failing to achieve website functionality is a total failure and waste of resources. Finally, system user interface has nowadays been an important aspect in system design and development. Interface which gives a point of interaction between user and the system has to adhere to various software development principles.

The website evaluation in this case would be makezine.com. It is registered as Make and Maker Faire under Make and Media Inc. Trademark. The website main goal is to encourage all young and growing innovators present their ideas to be assessed and where possible be developed to actual product. It targets exposing young and upcoming developers to expose their ideas to the entire world. This website has been built with very attractive idea of exposing upcoming generation but it does not meet some of good practices required in software development. Its interface is very congested with content and images making it difficult to work on. Good website development practices anticipates to have simple and clear website to use so that users do not strain when making use of it (FRAIN 2012, p. 97). A close observation of Makezine.com website shows that, links are clustered all over the webpage with so many pictures. Though it is very attractive website by the look, on its usability to customers, it might be very challenging due to its poor arrangement. Placing of images on the entire webpage might seem to make website attractive but according to good practices of system development, this makes system very congested and difficult for users to operate. It would be good idea if Makezine.com developer had collected all images on a gallery section where interested users’ would use a certain link to access. According to PETERSON (2014, p. 119), this would one of the organized way to make website more appealing and professional. Though the developer of the website might imagine of working with young innovators to present their ideas, it would be good to factor how they would make use of the system to post their ideas.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Makezine.com Website

ROSE (2015, p. 21) stipulates that, main features of any software are realized through its functionality. To make any system features clearly in the market, it should present its functionality is a clear and cohesive manner. In this case, Makezine.com has managed to give out its functionality through projects being undertaken. Under the project section, users are able to view which project is under development and which one has been presented for assessment by experts. This should serve as the main goal of the entire website because without either the upcoming projects or accomplished projects, makezine.com would not have achieved the mission of developing the project (PATEL 2014, p. 225). The website acts as a collection point of young ideas which need to be developed and be exposed in to the market for use. It aims on every idea since there is no specification of which ideas are being collected. Some of the projects which are available from project section include; science, crafts and design, drone making and Technology. Similarly, on the latest section of design, all projects that has been presented for considerations are available to help users be able to view ideas of the presented projects.

Consequently, according to SIMMONS (2013, p. 15), website developers need to established guide section where any needed help can be obtained. This section helps users of the system to get help on how some of the featured items are used by creating demos to guide them. Every item that has been created and developed in partnership with makezine.com has been supported by an operation guide to help all interested parties. Available guides are; drone, 3D printer guide, systems board guide and gift making guide. Moreover, there is a shop section where materials available can be obtained from. It is only through this section that, all interested buyers can get subject product. By clicking an item, all materials under that section gets displayed with relative prices and shipping cost. Lastly, “get involved feature” is provide by the system to help users who are able and willing to take part in any of the events be part of it. All sections including camp feature for training are available to help participants get some training on how to be part of the community (CALLAHAN 2012, p. 56).

Ideally, all systems have their strengths and weakness which makes it stand a particular position in the market. According to Karimov, Brengman & Van Hove (2011, p. 272), some of the positive aspects of Makezine.com are; well layout of the menu bar which presents very attractive pop ups. Next, the color used on system’s interface is very attractive to the eyes of the user. First onsite to the system presents very appealing as it gives user zeal to know the purpose of the system. Background color is user friendly because it does not make user’s eye strain while working on the website (Atuahene?Gima, Slater & Olson 2005, p. 468). Background color aspect is very important because it determines time the users’ of the system are going to take on the system. If background is not user friendly by having very bright color, users will tend to leave the website without even accomplishing their mission of visiting the software (Burd et al 2012, p. 55). Additionally, website links should be well presented at the top of the system to make website navigation from one webpage to the other easy.

Analysis of Makezine.com Website by Involved Parties

Despite all these advantages, there are some negative aspects which are observable from makezine.com. First, the website spans to several pages which is not being advocate in nowadays software development. Kim & Lennon (2013, p. 34) argues that, current website development procedures and methodologies are emphasizing on one page website which is complemented by modal pop ups. Next, placing so many of images on a webpage might seem to make system attractive but it is not a good practice in system development procedures. The entire makezine.com system is full of images and content which makes it look unprofessional as described from good practices of software development. Further, it is not easy to trace the name of the software because it has not been presented at the top of the webpage. Name used on a website should closely depict the functionality of the website by having first glance on it (Ding et al 2010, p. 99-101). Lastly, Makezine.com does not have a homepage which can be used to introduce user to the system.

Evaluation of website is quite challenging and an individual opinion may be biased due to some aspects. In this regard, it is most preferred to have some additional people who have various backgrounds on system use for comparison purpose (Koo & Ju 2010, 377-378). In my evaluation, I was lucky enough to get my brother who is a system developer to help in evaluating the system. Smith is 29 years and an independent software developer working with various companies. Mostly, Smith deals with embedded software but that did not limit him on evaluating makezine.com website and give his views. According to Smith, makezine.com developer had good intention of developing the website which are clearly captured on website functionality. Having captured all system functionality very well, Smith says makezine.com developer did little to make website interface user friendly in terms of use and arrangements of menu. Smith view on system interface design correlates highly with my opinion that, it does not look so professional. Similarly, I had my friend Christine, 35 years who is just a novice system user. Christine has been working as a call center support and receptionist. Christine has been working on various system and this makes Christine a best choice in my evaluation. Christine knowledge and skills was of great help in my analysis because novice users were well represented. Christine has been working with various systems’ for over 10 years and this gives me confidence in type of response provided. Christine response on system functionality is that, the purpose of the website well met but its interface was not in accordance with principles of good system design (Wang, Hernandez & Minor 2010, p. 940). From analysis of the system, both Smith and Christine ideas about the functionality and user interface correlates with my opinion.

Recommendations for Improvement of Makezine.com Website

An analysis of makezine.com website by all involved parties shows that there is need for change in design of website interface. Website interface need some improvements on arrangement of its menus (Tyagi, Solanki & Wadhwa 2010, p. 19-21). Links need to be presented on a menu bar at the top of the homepage. This facilities easy transition from one page to another. Additionally, makezine.com does not have a home page where all connections can be referenced. Failure to have a homepage makes it difficult to navigate from other webpages. Consequently, According to Rocha (2012, p. 380), to make website more attractive appealing and professionally presented, images and content should be arranged well. Content and information has been scattered all over the webpages making it difficult to understand functionality of the website. Furthermore, website need a well presented and name which can be used to identify the system. Website’s name has to explain clearly the functionality of the system. Finally, makezne.com website should be made to be a one page website. One page website makes it easy to use and looks more professional (Youngblood & Mackiewicz 2012, p. 582).

To evaluate makezine.com website, it was recommended to make use of Chrome device simulator as a basic tool. In the use of chrome simulator to review the website, it proved to be a convenient, simple and easy to use (Nebeling et al 2015, p. 24). It did not require so many configuration to be used. It can be used by even novice users of the system with just few steps to follow. It was quite accurate because it displays website very clearly with all content being visible for observation. To make use of this simulator, one does not need to buy simulator as it is readily available on all chrome applications. It would be difficult find it as it free from internet and can be downloaded any time. Similarly, Nagesh & Caicedo (2012, p. 56) stipulates that, simulator can be used in various devices with different resolutions. This makes it very applicable in many devices for use by the same user. In my makezine.com analysis, chrome was available in both my laptop and mobile phone. Simulation using these two devices helped in getting various scenarios to make conclusion from. Through use of chrome as a simulator, some of its advantages realized are; compatibility with many available devices. Chrome simulator can be installed in many devices including mobile phones, laptops and desktops (Madaudo & Scandurra 2013, p. 25).

Next, it is very simple use in various scenarios. Chrome simulator does not need users who are computer experts for it to be used (Walker & Chapra 2014, p. 56). Additionally, to users with already installed chrome application, it is free of charge to use chrome simulator.  Those who do not have chrome application on their system, it is very cheap to get one. Provided an individual has the right device, one need to buy some bundles get online and get application for free, then make use of available simulator (Luterbach & Hubbell 2015, p. 65). Besides benefits, chrome simulator cannot be used by illiterate computer users. This means some computational skills are required in order to make use of chrome simulator. It would not be easy to have a novice system user without computational skills being able to use chrome simulator to test website responsiveness. Alternatively, instead of using chrome simulator to test for website responsiveness, website analyst can make use of internet explorer and Mozilla though with varying results (Bazard & Bhardwaj 2011, p. 33). Important to note is that, using different simulators gives different results.

Conclusion

Using various analyst and system users helps in giving out varying view point in order to draw quality conclusion on usability and functionality of the system. The main features of makezine.com websites are; project section which explains various projects being assessed and which has been implemented and are already in market. The shop feature provides users with ability to purchase several items which has been developed and are ready for use in the market. Additionally, guide features helps system users to get necessary help after purchasing an item from the system. Some of the product available from the website include; robots, computers and their accessories such as motherboards, crafts and design products ranging from handcrafts to engineering products. Makezine.com has several advantages which makes it stand a market position. These are; system functionality which has been actualized effectively and efficiently, good background which is user friendly and use of relevant images on webpages. Similarly, there are some disadvantages which has been observed from use of the makezine.com website. These include; lack of homepage to display links in form of menu bar, unprofessional mages and content display which has been placed all over the webpage. Finally, the website is not a one page as required in good practices of software development. From analysis, possible recommendation are; creating a single page website, introducing a homepage for the website, displaying images and contents professional and arranging links in a more presentable manner, mostly in a menu bar. Finally, chrome simulator has proved to be a best tool to use in analyzing of website due to its ability to work on different set of devices such as laptops and smartphones. Chrome simulator alternatives are; Mozilla, internet explorer and safari.

References

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Bazard, M. and Bhardwaj, S., 2011. Overview on Android–The New Mobile Operating System. International Journal of Science, 2(1), pp.25-34.

Burd, B., Barros, J.P., Johnson, C., Kurkovsky, S., Rosenbloom, A. and Tillman, N. 2012. Educating for mobile computing: addressing the new challenges. In Proceedings of the final reports on Innovation and technology in computer science education 2012 working groups (pp. 51-63). ACM.

CALLAHAN, B. 2012. Responsive design. Freiburg, Germany, Smashing Media GmbH.

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Karimov, F.P., Brengman, M. and Van Hove, L., 2011. The effect of website design dimensions on initial trust: a synthesis of the empirical literature. Journal of Electronic Commerce Research, 12(4), p.272.

Kim, J. and Lennon, S.J., 2013. Effects of reputation and website quality on online consumers' emotion, perceived risk and purchase intention: Based on the stimulus-organism-response model. Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, 7(1), pp.33-56.

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Rocha, A, 2012. Framework for a global quality evaluation of a website. Online Information Review, 36(3), pp.374-382.

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SIMMONS, C. 2013. Instant Responsive Web Design. Packt Publishing.

Tyagi, N.K., Solanki, A.K. and Wadhwa, M., 2010. Analysis of server log by web usage mining for website improvement. International Journal of Computer Science Issues, 7(4), pp.17-21.    

Walker, J.D. and Chapra, S.C., 2014. A client-side web application for interactive environmental simulation modeling. Environmental Modelling & Software, 55, pp.49-60.

Wang, Y.J., Hernandez, M.D. and Minor, M.S., 2010. Web aesthetics effects on perceived online service quality and satisfaction in an e-tail environment: The moderating role of purchase task. Journal of Business Research, 63(9), pp.935-942.

Xin Ding, D., Hu, P.J.H., Verma, R. and Wardell, D.G., 2010. The impact of service system design and flow experience on customer satisfaction in online financial services. Journal of Service Research, 13(1), pp.96-110.

Youngblood, N.E. and Mackiewicz, J., 2012. A usability analysis of municipal government website home pages in Alabama. Government Information Quarterly, 29(4), pp.582-588.

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