Chicken Saddles Website Analysis

The website http://www.mbldesigns.com/chicken_aprons.html is rather ineffective for several reasons, but it is not entirely bad. The content that it contains is sufficient to communicate with the reader the essential information. It is fairly easy to find information about what the product, prices, shipping, and how to purchase. However, there is so much superfluous content that it distracts from the website’s primary purpose. There is both too much text and too many images.

The structure is very flat. All of the content is contained on the landing page, and any links either are for email or direct to third-party sites. This excludes the navigation bar at the top, which allows the user to view other products from the same person. In one sense the structure is good, because no important content is more than three clicks away from the landing page, but on the other hand having everything on one page is overwhelming and detracts from the overall effectiveness.

The voice is casual and in the first person. This makes the website feel personal, but not professional. The author is not operating a large business, but changing the voice to be more professional might convince wary buyers to be more comfortable.

The website design is almost exclusively bad. According to the source HTML, it was written in 2003. The website uses almost no custom styling; that is, it uses whatever font the browser uses for a default (in the case of Internet Explorer it is a serif font), the tables have borders that were common with websites in the 1990s, and the headings and text are formatted by the browser. The border is too small and the content bleeds beyond it. The navigation bar is merely two tables filled with links. Almost all of the meaningful content is below the fold, and it requires far too much scrolling to view the entire page. There are large blocks of text and large blocks of pictures, especially near the bottom of the page. It would be far more effective to mix these two elements together. Some of the links direct to images with no surrounding content; why would they not be embedded? From a technical standpoint, the author uses deprecated HTML tags (i.e. ). This practice is discouraged and makes it difficult for technologies like HTML to mature.

The site is fairly functional, primarily because there is no dynamic or interesting content to load. It loads quickly, and most of the links seem to work. (The email links did not work on the computer this is being written on, but they are standard mailto links, which means if there was an email program installed on this computer they would have worked.)

The site does a good job of engaging the audience, if only because it is such an ugly site. It has two things going for it: it is uncommon for websites to be this bad in today’s web, and it is uncommon to see websites advertising for chicken saddles. These two aspects make the site reasonably interesting to read, but perhaps not for the purpose that was intended.

The links on the site seem to all be working, except for the PayPal link, which directs to a generic pop up advertisement for PayPal.