Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Critique for Website of IBM

In the most of the web designers' thoughts, it's difficult to establish a fabulous web site. To assess whether a web site is good or bad, we often consider from the following strategy: purpose, information architecture, usability, design, quality, and the big picture.

IBM (International Business Machines Corporation) is a very popular company and it is a multinational computer technology and IT consulting corporation headquartered in United States. To know how good a web site should be for such a big company, we can start to look at its home page.

From my first impressions of IBM.COM, it tells me that the index of the IBM page, which includes all the supplies of IBM. However, without reading more about the page, if I am a person who does not have the knowledge of IBM, I will not know this web site is for a computer technology and IT consulting company.

1. Audience/Purpose
The primary audiences of the website is the people who wants to get help of computer technology or IT consultation, and the purpose of the site is to help the audiences to solve those problems. The audiences can find the technology they want to know and searching for the products. The website is trying to accomplish people to know how the products of IBM can help people get advantages of their IT life, and it enhances more people to use its products. It is an example of B2C (Business-to-Customer).

2. Information Architecture/Navigation
IBM’s website does a good job on the information architecture. The information of the whole page is organized very well. It sets the main navigation on the top of the page, and there are 6 categories in the navigation bar. The drop down menu help you get to where you want to go easily. In the middle of the page, there are some advertisements which advertise the ideas from IBM that can help you get a better life in IT field. Below the main navigation bar, they are the second level supplies which help you to learn more about the IT knowledge. At the bottom, they are extra help information. Overall, the architecture of this web site is findable and professional.

I have watched three of my friends used this site. Only one person could use the site flexible, and he was also the only one who is knowledgeable in IT technology. The other two took a little bit longer time to find the answers. As a result, the usability of a website is also depend on the different people, the knowledgeable IT people are always get easier to find what they want than the poor knowledge people in the website.

4. Construction and Design
The construction is complete and clear. It is a professional design. The pages are not luxuriance, but simple and explicit. The main color is deep blue and it makes the page looks comfortable. On the whole view, the design is appropriate for the target audiences.

5. Content Quality
The content in the site is brief and to the point. The content always lists the keywords first, and then the details. Moreover, the tone of the content is suited for the business.

6. The Big Picture
In conclusion, I think this is a good website because it does a good job on information architecture, construction, design and quality. For the usability, there may be too many information in the website, and it is a little bit difficult for the new users to find what they need. Instead, the words of the content are short, and they always point out the key ideas in a short word, so it helps to get back from lost.

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