Setting up a website is never the same again with tools like Joomla, a popular open source Content Management System (CMS) previously known as Mambo. A website foundation is up in few minutes and all the user need is to write their site’s contents, create images etc. Joomla’s powerful feature lies with the ability to allow users to maintain their website content easily and more efficiently without having to bother too much on the design and scripting part of a website.
Jenerate Limited is an internet solutions company providing services like domain and web hosting, web design, graphic design, internet marketing and content management systems. Like many other companies on the internet, Jenerate has adopted Joomla to create their website and maintain their contents with the CMS.
Immediately when I reached their site, the first impression was “Oh, another CMS site”. Very standard, like you can probably see 100 other similar designs out there. Professional, clean, straightforward are the words I can relate to Jenerate’s website. First impression does not last because it does not have any key highlight that catches my attention. As we humans always say this person has a common face, this website has a common design.
Joomla uses a template to define how the whole website looks. Therefore, a good Joomla website starts with a good design template that defines everything from the font, navigation bar, images and CSS styles. By using a template, the whole website appears more consistent.
As we can see, all the elements like information, main navigation, side navigation and banners are arranged in a clear and presentable manner. This prevents the user’s mouse from losing its way in the browser. Content font size is also at a readable size. Headers and contents also separated neatly by color and size.
Layout of contents lacks a few prominent dividers to separate recurrent contents especially under the Portfolio and Solutions sections. An added line or header with color should do the trick. Color usage is pretty generic with red as prominent headers, black for contents and white as base. These colors work well for any professional websites like Jenerate Limited.
The whole website has more text contents than graphic elements. This is probably due to the usage of Joomla. But I still want to highlight 2 of the interesting ones:
The site keeps itself lively by creating subtle movement using a banner that fades in and out of different images with taglines. This is useful for CMS sites, as many tend to feel that CMS sites are boring and stagnant.
Under their portfolio section, they included small thumbnails of their works bounded in a photo frame-alike border. This is a good effort in beautifying the site design as they visually enhance the portfolio thumbnails on a white background. However a point to note, even though there are text links to the portfolio works, they should add the links on the thumbnail images as well. Most users tend to click on images than text links.
The problem with usability is that not everyone notices it until they truly test their website. For Jenerate, there are many sections where necessary links should be underlined or changed into the standard blue color underline link.
A website usability analysis shows that most internet users immediately recognize an underline blue color text is a link, as compared to links with different text formatting. For example, one of the links actually situated within the paragraphs, which I do not even know unless I rolled over them. User will miss out such information unless they thoroughly read the paragraphs of text. (We all know that users only skim through contents most of the time on a website) Even if the links are not important, it should still follow the standard rules of usability.
Other than this, all pages have a form on the side bar, for users to sign up to Jenerate’s mailing list if they are interested. Under the contact section, they have also included a form for users to key in their message. Forms are common features in Joomla CMS, which are widely used to improve the user experience.
Jenerate Limited has made good use of a Content Management System like Joomla to organize their information and present it in a clear and professional manner to the users who are viewing their website. By fixing the minor glitches as stated in this review, it will benefit the users who are considering their internet solutions.