Interactive Design_ Marumushi.com Essay

The Newsmap (http://marumushi. com/apps/newsmap/newsmap. cfm) is an online resource for news from all over the world. It is a collage of links to news in different categories from business to politics, entertainment to technology, and so on. In addition, the tabs on the upper part of the website indicate some countries that a user might want to visit. For each country, different headlines appear which signals the difference of the importance of some news in different areas around the globe.

The primary purpose of this website is to collect news as they happen in different parts of the world and collate them in a single site for the online users’ access. With regards to visibility, the Newsmap is uncomplicated as it is unswervingly obvious that the user will navigate through the pages by simply clicking the mouse to desired links and options. The labels for the toolbars are clear which distinguishes the countries and news categories, and the boxes were labeled with headlines.

The colors of the boxes grouped together coincide with the legend on the lower right portion of the site, which determines the news category of each box group. In addition, the boxes and tabs are highlighted when the cursor passes through them setting the instinct to click and navigate for the user. However, the website was not integrated with tools and features that allow feedback to the user. I have been visiting this site for some time and I have not observed any constraints that the design of the site may cause to the user, whether physical, logical, or cultural in nature.

The website was intended for online users to browse through to read news that happen around the world so it was designed to follow a simple platform. Navigation is easy as the tabs were arranged logically, and the contents are unbiased as they contain different kinds of news in different categories. As aforementioned, the design of the website was logical, so in terms of mapping, the links that controls the navigation of the website were unambiguous.

Selecting some links, for instance, news by country, is easy and uncomplicated since the slides just change interactively without going through some complex process. For this reason, the consistency of the website is constant and unfailing. For instance, the background does not change for every click of the link, particularly by country or by news category. However, clicking the boxes will redirect the user to the real website where the news article or video may be found.

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Generally, the design of the website is consistent in terms of the design and the elements used. In terms of affordances, the website utilized simple tools, which allows the user to readily understand how to navigate through the website. For one, the use of the scrollbar was used eliminating the fragmented feature of information. Necessary information was presented on a single page. The cursor becomes an image of a hand when it passes through the boxes, which simply signifies that users are supposed to click them.

For the news categories, there are boxes to be ticked in each category, which instantly tells the user that he can choose which news category to browse through. Lastly, the tabs for each country were highlighted when the cursor passes through them indicating that they are links that the user can visit. Overall, in terms of the standards of visibility, feedback, constraints, mapping, consistency, and affordances, the Newsmap on Marumushi. com performed fairly well. The website is simple but its structure was logical and well-designed.

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