Anton Paar – Professional Measuring Instruments

Anton Paar GmbH produces high quality measuring and instruments for industry and research. The company is big with many branches worldwide. Their official website looks professional as well with lots of technical content.

Form and Function

The homepage looked simple enough when I first saw it. Mouse hovering the top and middle menu implied that the website itself must be very rich in content. For example, there were so many links when I mouse over the “product” link. All the links worked (the web team must be doing their job well). However, the top and middle menu wasn’t that attractive. I was drawn to the media gallery link on the right side.

The “Product highlights” and “News” sub sections in the homepage looked quite plain. I suggest using some thumbnails beside the text to make the homepage more lively.


Fig 1. Impressive media popup

The videos in the media gallery looked pretty impressive. The 3d animations were fantastic. There were even games to be played. The only complain I had was that the video streaming was too slow for me. Perhaps they should give users an option to choose between different video quality. Popups can be annoying. Having one separate media section within the main site might be another possibility.


Fig 2. Detail product pages

The product pages had the “products”, “industries” and “service/support” menu moved to the top as secondary navigation. Take three products for example, the Refractometer, Rheometer and Oxygen Meter, one could see that these pages were pretty consistent in terms of design and layout. The right column looked a bit empty though. If the idea was to promote certain cutting-edge equipment such as the MCR rheometer, oxygen meter or any other high end R & D instruments, then having them as banners on the right side might help. I also noticed the news section occasionally appeared on the right side – There should be thumbnails accompanying the news to lure more clicks.

What actually impressed me most was that the website actually supports different languages. Users can click on the language link on the top right to chose their preferred language (and it wasn’t using a translation software).

Conclusion

The site was professional in terms of design and content but looked a bit “robotic” to me. Even though the company could be producing measuring instruments, their website could be more lively. Perhaps having more human in pictures might bring more life to the site. Adding a bit of social media buzz might also help to engage users a bit more. A company like Anton Paar should have their own Facebook and Twitter page?

Automotive news and car reviews

thatsauto.com is a website designed to provide news on automobiles. There are also sections in the site that provides tips on buying and selling cars. The website looked relatively new to me and I am sure the author would want to add more content to the site to attract more people.

Form and Function

Upon arrival at the site, I was greeted by big “fast company” image (as seen on the screen shot). The rest of the images seemed to be 425 x 283 px. I thought the author should consider using smaller thumbnails and also be more consistent with image sizes especially on the homepage. The first impression is important.

The headers seemed to be a bit messed up. Slicing up the header banner up into tables is not a good idea today. I also thought that “News – Reviews – Recalls – Advice” were clickable but didn’t turned out to be so. The homepage also had a lot of empty spaces especially on the right. The footer seemed to be quite out of place and the w3c link linked to a page full of errors.

Clicking on the links in the homepage brought me to the blogs. The blogs was running on wordpress and obviously had better space management. Like the homepage, the blogs didn’t have a proper and consistent header banner as well. After looking at the homepage and the blog, I was wondering why the author didn’t run the whole website in wordpress but rather chose to have a blog running separately within the site. The picture gallery was again linked to a page with a different look and feel. Having separate apps running different parts of the site might be quick and easy to set up but poses usability issues.

Aestehtically, the site was plain and boring. There was not enough news and images to keep me entertained.

Conclusion

The domain name is good. The author should consider using a central cms (possibly wordpress) for the whole site and put in more effort to build up credible content with quality images. There are a lot of people interested in cars and I am sure that with enough effort, the site can gain more fans.