Consumer Protection Company

Introduction

Consumer Protection Company reviews websites and programs of internet businesses with the protection of consumers in mind. They rate Online Surveys, Mystery Shopping, Ebay Auctions, Real Estate Auctions and Loans and document their findings for future individuals who may be interested in participating in these online money making opportunities.

Form

This particular design is not very appealing to my eye and I do not feel I would visit it again – instead searching out a more professional source of consumer protection services. I was not exactly certain what the site was about in the first seven seconds. I like a visual clue of what the site is about – it is the first thing I look for. The “As Seen On” logos demand more attention than the big WARNING in the middle. The logos should be reduced in size, and moved to the bottom, allowing more room for more content (a third usable column). I much prefer a fluid width design vs a fixed with a repeating filler background on a left justified design, and on this one, the background just does not match or blend with anything. The overall look and feel of this site is outdated and could do with a fresh coat of paint.

The header, and the images that make it up are a bit bland. There is no logo, and with a site meant for “Consumer Protection”, I feel that should be connected to a brand. A image that connects a user with “consumer protection” would be an advantageous move – Flags are old school…

The use of images to act on behalf of text is a no-no, why? Because search engines cannot see what the images are saying – they see nothing. Furthermore, the navigation is too big and chunky. The text on the buttons is a bit fuzzy possibly making it difficult to read for some. The only thing that makes the use of these buttons “ok” is that it is a small site – too many more of these would be overload – I would have liked to seen the blue left column extended to the bottom of the page.

Function

This site makes no use of meta tags, description, or keywords – They need to think about giving an ‘alt’ attribute to all the images site wide, this way search engines can see the images as text.

The usability of this site gets a 7. The good thing about this site is it has a good amount of content – however the inside pages became very long. A bit of color blocking to draw your eye, and shorter linked pages would be better for this amount of information. I would prefer some visual elements to coincide with the information I am reading – like a call to action button or a small photo that connected me with the information.

For several years now, web development has been moving over to and CSS for layout and presentation. This site was marked up in tables, which is not a great idea in the long run. They produce messy code, are not compliant with current standards and are slow loading. This site did not validate as HTML in the W3C validation tool – there was no DOCTYPE listed in the markup – standards adherence is key to a winning site, and unfortunately this one completely misses with 38 errors.

Conclusion

I found each page on the site to download very quickly on a Cable modem, but would assume a heavier pull on 56K due to the use of so much imagery in the frame of the design.