DDSN 360: Assignment 1 – Site Design Review

Assignment 1

I just hope that more people will ignore the fatalism of the argument that we are beyond repair. We are not beyond repair. We are never beyond repair.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

ASSIGNMENT 1: The Good, The Bad, the Ugly, and The Usable

User Interface Design – Fall 2019


Example of a Good Design: Does the site/app talk to the audience it’s intended for, and does it solve a problem for them?

Golden 1 Center

https://www.golden1center.com/ – I think Golden1 Center has a good website. It’s an event center arena that is home to the Sacramento Kings. Its audience are Kings fans, concert and event goers. When you see the website, it is tastefully branded with the Golden1 colors, has clear menu and search options, as well as a simple scroll method to browse all upcoming events, whether you are a basketball fan or not. They have created their own hierarchy on the home page and feature larger banners for the bigger acts, and clear, easy to read listings of the lesser known acts. But whatever event you might be interested in, you can find very easily. When you go to the search page, each event has a listing and image that are all the same size. When you select the menu button from the home page, a nice overlay image of a crowd cheering near a stage, and on that image is a much more thorough menu to find more in depth information about the center. I think it’s very clear, designed well, and serves a simple function – make it easy for folks to purchase tickets to an event.


Example of a Bad Design: Bad means a lot of things but failing to communicate, being hard to navigate or hard to learn are three big tip offs that its a bad site or app.

Bay Area Fastrak

https://www.bayareafastrak.org – I will admit, I have a personal vendetta against Fastrak. However, that vendetta was sprung out of how awful their website has been historically. This current iteration SEEMS like it’s better, but I still feel angry about how unclear and unhelpful their website was just 7 years ago. (Don’t let the image below of the site back then fool you. It may seem like a clear, albeit dated website, but there was a never-ending loop trap in very fundamental pages like, put money on your account.) I always felt ashamed of their website because it represents the commuting area of Silicon Valley, but its website always felt straight out of 1994 to me. I remember being thrown into loops when I just wanted to find out my account balance, or put more money on my card. If I didn’t have it set up to automatically refill, it was a HUGE pain to refill as I went. I took a look at The Wayback Machine archives of their site and attached it here for reference.

Green Valley Theatre Company

https://greenvalleytheatre.com/tickets?category=Main+Stage – I had to ask around for a website that truly was bad, as most that are out there, though some may not be pretty, serve their purposes clearly. This one definitely is doing it’s company a disservice. Just take a look. The menu seems broken and moves around in strange, and I’m sure unintended ways. There is basically nothing on the site. And it’s not clear where to buy tickets. Their donate ask is clear on the home page, but I should still think that inviting people to be patrons of your theatre is the first step to winning them as donors.


Example of an Ugly Design: There aren’t many truly hard-to-look at sites and mobile apps out there these days, so most of what would fall in this category could be also described as “naive,” “out-of-date,” or “broken.”

The Elly Awards

https://ellyawards.com – This website design is about 15 years old, it is not responsive to different devices, and it’s just ugly. Even 15 years ago, I would think this website is ugly. There are inconsistent choices all over the place as far as the use of type, grammar and punctuation. Don’t even get me started on color choices.


Example of a Usable Design: The goals of the site/app are obvious, the interface helps the user complete a task, and is easy to learn.

Brainy Quote

https://www.brainyquote.com/ – I recently discovered this website and I LOVE IT. It is so simple and so fun. Its purpose is to either help you find a quote, identify a quote’s author, or collect your favorite quotes from your favorite people. It is a database of quotes! It’s clear and simple and fun.

Published by missmistyday

Graphic & Digital Media Designer in Sacramento, California.

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