by Mary Kate Metivier
The site I chose to critique is the website for the Detroit Free Press and their section “A Better Michigan”, because my grandmother lives in Detroit and I decided to think about it in terms of my grandma’s point of view. She loves to read, but has some trouble on the Internet.
I think the site is fairly easy to navigate. The nav bar is very clearly at the top, includes a home button that I think is very important. Sometimes when the home button is not included, it’s difficult for people to realize clicking on a logo would lead them back to the home page. The home page is not terribly cluttered, and not too long. Occasionally I think people could get stuck on the scrolling due to the sidebar scrolling, but otherwise, I think the site is fairly simple. I also like that when you choose an article, it pops open in a separate window almost, without closing out of the home page. It’s easy to navigate back to where you were before.
I think this site does a decent job of convergence, but could do more. Each article includes a photo. But to me, convergence is necessary in the future. If we are able to provide video and audio of each story we should. Overall the majority of the main media is photo galleries, so I think they could do more in that respect.
Their intended audience for most of their coverage is the people of the Detroit area. It is obvious to me in their coverage just based on the large amounts of articles about Detroit and the surrounding areas. The “A Better Michigan” section, is all about how to improve Michigan, and the opinions of the people.
To create an ongoing story, some of their stories link back to others, with hyperlinks. Also, they can include photos from other stories. I think it’s cool that they make it almost into their own site, with it’s own section and it’s own headline. It has one big photo gallery instead of just separate photos per article to create cohesiveness.