Blog 2: Missouri Business Alert website usability critique


By Hellen Tian

The site I’m looking into is Missouri Business Alert’s website. It follows Steve Krug’s five guidelines for capturing reader attention/aiding in comprehension:
1. Create a  clear visual hierarchy on each page

2. Take advantage of conventions

3. Break pages up into clearly defined areas

4. Make it obvious what’s clickable

5. Minimize noise

To begin with, the site’s has a clean layout, viewers know what each section is about and there’s no confusion of what you can click on and what you can’t. There’s no noise in the website, everything is very clean and clear. The headline of the latest story is being presented on the very top of its main page, followed by latest stories (clickable url). Since news is being produced in chronological order, this is a very reasonable way to organize news feed. This kind of layout is also widely used in social media. Since social media platforms have a lot of users today, and readers are familiar with newsfeed organized in chronological order, it is smart for a news organization to organize its content this way.

The website’s “market snapshot” section shows how the stock market is going, which is something MBA user may care about.

One of my favorite part about the website is “If you only have 5 Minutes don’t miss these stories” section. This pushes news to the readers, letting them know how long does it take to read a news article. This addresses the readers’ potential concern of “I want to read the story but I don’t know long this may take. I’m not going to start because I don’t know if I have enough time to finish.”

MBA also offered different ways of organizing the content. For instance, you can choose to organize the content by region, by industry, etc. This helps niche audience to get the content they want on MBA website.

The visual elements are relevant to the stories, they are well produced and does not turn off viewers.

MBA also has good consciousness of connecting with audience on social media. There are social media badges on MBA’s website, so users can follow their feed on social media.


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