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Something Fishy

Wed, Jun 6, 2007

Home & Garden | Author:

www.e-aquarium.com.au

Introduction

E-Aquarium is a website offering aquaria enthusiasts a unique assortment of online aquarium and fish tank related resources. It is an informational site with sales occurring through advertising for other e-stores.

Form

When first landing on the e-Aquarium home page, I thought the design looked lopsided. This is because the website uses a left aligned layout and has a large image in the centre left of the page with a very minimal heading at the top. The logo is in a blue webfont with a swimming fish animated gif. Perhaps creating a better logo, adding an aquarium style background to match the fish and generally filling in the heading area, would help this. While the white space helps convey spaciousness, the simplicity of the colour scheme doesn’t seem to appeal for an aquarium website and the design didn’t look that attractive.

1) The blue menu on the right side is all in capitals. This would impair speedy reading of the menu for the audience. It has been scientifically proven that lowercase letters are easier to read.

2) The electric blue web font is one of the most commonly used colours on the internet. Make your colours unique by using other shades of blue. Why not try a turquoise, an aqua or a slate?

3) As an aquarium site, there is the opportunity to do something really exciting with the background. How about using some different colours to jazz up the site a bit? Or the background image of an aquarium (complete with plants and fish)? Otherwise, the main image may need to be glorious in order to grab viewer’s attention.

4) The ads by Google on the other pages are commonly found on the internet and could be a bit of a turn off – could these be moved to a more subtle area – like at the bottom of the page?

5) There are some issues with text placement – for an example, see the bottom of the “Air Stones” page.

The advertisment on the right side gives an idea of an aquaria sort of design. Left-aligned layout is acceptable, although many sites are turning to centre-aligned layouts as they are more popular and look more balanced to viewers. The font size is adequate and can be read by people of all ages. Content is spaced out, easy to read and simple. It was good to see that the webmaster kept the home page text user friendly and short.

Just a quick note on the spelling – the menu looks like it should read “Snails” not Snail and there are a number of other singular items that could be plurals.

Function

Write about the usability and functionality of the site. Content is king. Do you get understand what the website is trying to say? Is there anything that hinders its functionality? You can also talk about the coding standards and loading time. We encourage our reviewers use image illustrations (see the image [link] below).Navigation is good – clicking on the right menu links goes straight to the page intended with no fuss, and the right menu is consistent on all the pages. At the bottom is text links for additional items, but I’m not sure if these should be in the right menu as not everyone is going to notice the other items down the bottom?

Coding is html with some CSS. It was good to see the meta name and description for each page was different, to attract appropriate traffic (eg, the snails page had a description of “a guide to the most popular snails…”) Loading times are fast, as code is basic and images are generally small sizes. Thumbs up for that.

The “Aquarium filter” page has a lot of information on it with some images of different systems to use and the “Cheap Fish Tank” page also offered helpful information about fish tanks. The content on E-Aquarium is useful and the more information is added, the more the site will become a useful online reference.

Conclusion

E-Aquarium has a noble ambition – free information on the web is ALWAYS handy for readers – however the design is very basic and could be better. Navigation is good and advertising needs to be more subtle. Competition for informational aquarium sites is minimal, mostly because other aquarium websites have basic design also. Good luck with making this website more exciting to visit.

www.e-aquarium.com.au.1
fig 1. Right menu in capitals

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fig 2. Boring heading area

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fig 3. Google advertising

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fig 4. Filtration page graphics and information

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fig 5. Videos – from the bottom links

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