This week I looked into some other digital archives in order to hopefully get some ideas for my website. While looking into the websites and exploring certain features I certainly learned a lot about the importance of simplicity and visual appeal.
The first site I looked into was Valley of the Shadow. The original page was pretty simple and told the reader what to expect from the site. After I clicked on the link to navigate me to the archives the site became separated into three sections, before, during and after the war. Originally I liked the site but as I dove in deeper and explored I became frustrated that there was not a navigation option in order for me to return to the main page. I had to constantly be clicking the back arrow. I did like the pictures of the people and the individual letters that the site offered. I really enjoy the human aspect of history and to read how and what people thought about during this time was very fascinating.
The second site was my favorite out of all the sites. The Gilded Age Murder was amazing. I loved the visual appearance right away. The soft gold in the back ground followed by the darker gold was a good contrast and gave the eyes something interesting to look like. There were several links and interactive maps and options. Another aspect of the website I liked was the navigation bar that followed you where you went on the site so you could easily return home. This site reminded me a lot of what our reading mentioned about being an architect. The designers of the site considered the purpose and audience of this site and did not focus on one aspect in particular. A wide variety of details were considered and the results were an interesting and fun website to visit.
The third website I visited was French Revolution. I did not like this site at all. The harsh red colors overwhelmed my eyes. The website was not updated to fit the modern day computer systems and the links were placed in unflattering areas such as in the middle of people’s head. I looked at the cover page and immediately left.
I learned a lot from searching these archives and I took note of everything I liked and did not like. The one thing that became very apparent however was how much work I want to put into this website. To create a site that is both simply and visual will take a lot of behind the scene work, but I never back down from a challenge!