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Well structured Information Architecture, Thunderbolt Tea

Mon, May 8, 2006

Home & Garden | Author:

www.thunderbolttea.com

Introduction

The internet is an information rich environment where people research and find information for almost every thing. To create a content rich website, thumb it takes a lot of time and very careful planning on how to organize the contents and structure of the whole website. Here at Thunderbolt Tea website, prostate we will see how they have made their information neatly categorized and sorted out.

Form

To deal with websites with very rich information like Thunderbolt Tea’s website, the web master must place extra attention and ultimate thoughts on the planning of its Information Architecture. Let us take a look at how Thunderbolt Tea presents their website to its fans.

On first visit to the website, I was more or less turn off by the amount of text in the main page. Its just like the feeling of being thrown into a sea of information. But after some clicking around, I began to understand how the site works and what is it for. It may take much longer to many others. I believe people will stumble to Thunderbolttea.com only because they wanted to find out more about the tea. I believe if the target audience who wanted to know more about this tea, they will endure through and find their way out.

Colors and layout are being done in a nothing will go wrong layout. Everything is pretty much standards of how most websites are done. There is nothing special to comment about in this area.

On first visit to the website, I was more or less turn off by the amount of text in the main page. Its just like the feeling of being thrown into a sea of information. But after some clicking around, I began to understand how the site works and what is it for. It may take much longer to many others. I believe people will stumble to Thunderbolttea.com only because they wanted to find out more about the tea. I believe if the target audience who wanted to know more about this tea, they will endure through and find their way out.

Colors and layout are being done in a nothing will go wrong layout. Everything is pretty much standards of how most websites are done. There is nothing special to comment about in this area.

On the site front, is actually the website’s sitemap with short information of what each section and its sub category are about. I believe they wanted the users to immediately find out what they want base on the sitemap. This method also helps in Search Engine Optimization. But negatively, it has cluttered the front index which is the first impression for users to decide whether they want to stay or leave the website.

However, layout of the site map can be improved by making good use of CSS in the formatting of the paragraphs. By adding extra pixels between the line height and padding in between the columns, it will greatly improve readability. Additional colors can also be used to separate the contents of each section. As of now, its only using blue and orange. Color separation can also enhance the readability. Small adjustments like this will help in making users wanting to stay longer and not close the website window in less than 10 seconds.

Function

The contents are being neatly separated into 5 key areas serving different purpose. By targeting on the common actions that user will do when they visit their website, contents are being placed at the right section and category. The naming conventions are also clearly name and easily understood by most users. By making use of drop down menus, users can easily navigate to other sections.

Side bar:
Some extra links are placed at the side bar which is consistent at every page of the website. Those links there are quick links which the web master wanted their users to view and use. Example is the “Tea Photos & Ecards” link which lets user to interact with the website by sending Ecards and view photos. Having fun activities placed prominently on the side bar increases interactivity between the users and the website. This allows returned and gained traffic.

They have also placed useful links like subscription to mailing list, site search, quick links to contact us, their tea shop. All of this links are traffic gaining sections which allow the overall Thunderbolt Tea’s website to be fun and interesting.

Conclusion

You never expect a tea information website to include fun activities and interesting information like photos and Tea Shop. These interactions allow user to feel fulfilled than bored down by the tea information. Thunderbolt Tea’s website has carefully planned their information architecture in a clear and effective way. Also, note that Thunderbolttea.com is so huge that not every single detail can be fully evaluated. But in overall, the user experience is good and they have done a good job in the information architecture of the whole website.

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