Strengths And Weaknesses Of Restaurant Guide Atlantas Computer Science Essay

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This report evaluates the restaurant guide atlantas strengths and weaknesses. It also helps to improve the website. Finally, it makes appropriate recommendations for the improvement of the website which could help to improve the business. The information for this report was obtained through research on internet about Atlanta restraint guides . In addition a survey using a comprehensive questionnaire , which is attached in Appendix A .

Restaurant Guide Atlanta's website has both its strengths and weaknesses . Its strengths include its URL and fast download speed . Even though it has its strengths, it has also a lot of weaknesses. The weaknesses of the websites have been analyzed by its contrast, repetition, alignment, first impression, navigation and content .We also have reconfirmed our analysis by doing a survey .

Based on the findings, it is obvious that there are a many weaknesses in the Restaurant Guide Atlanta website. Restaurant Guide Atlanta should implement some changes that can bring about increase in revenue for the company.

It is recommended to make changes for the background color, making use of light and appealing backgrounds and for fonts , making use of dominant colors to differentiate elements . As for the links , it is recommended to avoid repetition of links which would only bring about confusion for users .The company is also recommended to concentrate on the alignment of the website considering to avoid the large empty spaces on the sides too .Lastly it is recommended for the business to make use of related and appetizing pictures so as to attract customers and also to get them into a "hungry" mood .

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Purpose

This report evaluates the restaurantguideatlanta's strengths and weaknesses. It also helps to improve the website. Finally, it makes appropriate recommendations for the improvement of the website which could help to improve the business.

Background

Restaurant Guide Atlanta was created by Frank Nance in 1998. The website provides a comprehensive list of most of the major restaurants in the Metro Atlanta Area. It is designed to help local Atlanta area residence, businesses, tourists and newcomers to the area to find a restaurant to fit their specific needs. It strives to help both the customer and restaurant establishment by providing an easy searchable guide, and help consumers to find the restaurant that fits their individual needs.

However the company is not able to hit the expected target and having way lower. In order to improve the website we, the Project Managers of a website consultancy company , have been requested to identify the website's strengths and weaknesses and to make recommendations which helps to further improved the website.

Methodology

The information for this report was obtained through research on internet about Atlanta restraint guides . In addition a survey using a comprehensive questionnaire , which is attached in Appendix A ,was conducted on a sample of 40 respondents , the respondents were asked on strength and weakness of restraint guide Atlanta's website .

Scope of investigation

The report investigates target users, strength & weakness and also make appropriate recommendation in order to increase the usage of its website by its consumers. It also examines the results of a survey conducted on customer preferences. Respondents were asked questions relating to their knowledge on well designed and organized restaurant guides. Details of the responses are given in the data tally sheet in Appendix B.

Analysis of website

Strength

2.1.1 First Impression

URL

Another strength of the website would be the URL of the Restaurant Guide Atlanta website . . URL of an website is important part of an online marketing . It encourage visitors to link the website to the content on the website at every opportunity , therefore making it easy for them to remember and encouraging them to visit the site. The URL of the restaurant guide Atlanta website is http://www.restaurantguideatlanta.com/ The URL is simple at the same time easy for users to remember . To confirm our analysis with the respondents comments on the website first impression, there was a question asked in the survey on what do they like about the website.

The figure 1 above shows on what people like about the Restaurant Guide Atlanta website . 43%% of the respondents agree to our analysis ,feeling that the URL of the website is distinct and easy to remember. This clearly proves us that respondents also agree that the website URL is short n easy to remember which adds on to the strength of the website .

Download Speed

Another strength of the website would be the download speed of the website . Download speed/time of an website is very important as it affects on the how long users have to wait and the loading time of the website and other related links .

The website is actually fairly fast in the its download speed . The time taken to load its related link is very fast compared to other websites . In the figure 1 above, 33% of the respondents who did the survey agree that there is a fast download speed in the Restaurant Guide Atlanta website .

Weakness

Contrast

Background Color

Despite the contrast of the website is fairly good, respondents still feel that the background of the website is not attractive. Figure 2 above shows that 23% of the respondents ( 30 respondents ) feel that the background color of the website is too dull , and they consider it as the important reason for the website to be less attractive .

Figure 3 above also justifies that the choice of color affects a user's judgment on a website's sense of contrast. 21% of the respondents admitted that choice of color affects the contrast of a website .

Color affects how we feel, our perceptions, and our interactions. A visitor has already made a conscious choice to visit a website, which means that the website design must be attractive enough to keep his or her interest. A webpage have between 8 to 10 seconds to visually appeal to the surfer. Therefore such dull backgrounds would affect the number of daily customers visiting the Restaurant Guide Atlanta site .

Fonts(Size & Colour)

Webpage fonts are very important for creating an impact on the user's impression of a website. Thus designers take extra care on choosing them .They are more interested and focus on whether or not must the fonts be too formal or casual, too modern or conservative so as to create a website which has fonts which are enjoyably readable and beautify the website as well .

However , the font used in Restaurant Guide Atlanta website is not attractive and appropriate . There were similar fonts used throughout the website , and respondents also feel it was a poor color combination .It is also hard to distinguish among the elements used ( Header , Content , Sub - Header , Link ) , as all the words were making use of similar font text . Figure 2 shows that 21% of the respondents feel that the font color website used in the website is a bad choice , and it's a bad font color . Figure 3 also justifies that, as 25% of the respondents feel that text selection is a important factor in judging a website's contrast.

Repetition

Repeated Hyper - Links

If there is relation between two points, the style should be repeated to have a consistent feel. Repetition means keeping design for similar themes consistent. Many people often skim text and graphics, repetition can help communicate your points when people only want to skim the message that you want to communicate.

Figure 3 above shows that 96% of the respondents (36 respondents) have found repeated links in the Restaurant Guide Atlanta website. These links are irrelevant and unnecessary. It only caused more confusion as most of the links were linked to the same page, but only having different link name.

One of the example of such repeated links from the website is shown in screen shot 1 and screenshot 2. Both the links would direct them to a page where all the restaurants are classified in alphabetic order. There are many more of such links that can be found on the website.

Alignment

Poor Alignment

A good alignment of a website must ensure that everything in a website must be visually connected to others , and nothing should be different from all the other elements , unless it is a unique categorization . Meaning that the heading and the sub headers should follow the same alignment , and it must not be placed where users would not look at .

However , the website is poorly aligned and have overlapping contents . Figure 4 above shows what people think about the alignment of Restaurant Guide Atlanta website . 44% of the respondents feel that the website has poor alignment , 39% of the respondents feel that that there are large irrelevant empty spaces , 9% of the respondents feel that the website is well aligned , and the remaining 7% of the respondents feel that there is poor bordering of the website.

An example of poor bordering of restaurant guide Atlanta is shown below at screenshot 3. It shows bordering of the website , which is poorly aligned .It can be seen clearly in the screenshot that there are overlapping contents ,which clearly shows how poorly is the website aligned .Thus , this kind of poor alignment will make the website unattractive and causing the company to lose its customers.

Large Empty Spaces

Empty spaces on the sides of a website are relevant to give indentation and making the whole content look fully aligned. It is also important for a website to look good . But however, there are too much large empty spaces on the sides of a website .

Figure 4 show that 39% of the respondents feel that that there are large irrelevant empty spaces in the website. This irrelevant empty space reflects how ugly a website is. Moreover it also takes a lot of memory space and might increase the download time of the website .One of the example could be seen in the screenshot 4 where there are large empty spaces on the sides of the website , that could have been fully utilized .

First Impression

Look and Feel

Look and feel adds on to the weakness of the Restaurant Guide Atlanta Website. The look and feel of a website reflects strongly on the organization. It is important for every business owners to make sure that their business is well presented in a form of website online, which is well designed and mainly focus on the business identity. In our analysis we have found that look and feel of the website makes the users difficult to read and understand due to the choice of font colors .And the information are also very cluttered making it more confusing and giving a unpleasant feeling for users.

Figure 1 above shows that 23% of the respondents feel that the website has a dull background color , 17% of the respondents feel that information is too close to one another , 4% feel that information is unorganized , 2% fell that the website contains uninteresting images , 21% feel that it has bad font color , 14% feel that the website has a poor layout , 14% feel that there is too many irrelevant space and 6% feel it is because of other reasons .

All this reasons justify that the look and feel of the website is not that attractive enough due to a lot of factors such as font colors , cluttered information and poor layout . Having a uninteresting look and feel will just create a bad impression causing users not to visit the site again , therefore decreasing the sales .

Lack of Value Proposition

Figure 6 : What do you think is the main purpose of the website?

USP is the unique selling point which is what sets you and your business apart from competition. It can be an actual fact or a perceived difference or specialty. Every business needs one. But unfortunately there is a lack of value proposition for the Restaurant Guide Atlanta website as the site does not give a clear idea of what is all about by just glancing at the website . If there is no logo , then it is just very hard for users to guess what the website is all about .

According to Figure 6 , it shows clearly only 37% of the respondents found it right that the main purpose of the website is "to help people find a restaurant in Atlanta to fit their specific needs " . Most of them (53% of the respondents) have mistaken the purpose of the website that is "to provide catering" .This clearly state that the purpose of the website is not well recognized by the users at first sight .Thus there is a lack of value proposition.

Navigation

Ease of use

A navigational system of a website is expected to be intuitive and easy to use, providing direct access to various content and facilities on the site . But unfortunately the Restaurant Guide Atlanta does not serve this navigational purpose.

Figure 7 above shows that 83% of the respondents disagree that the website is easy to navigate and only 17% of the respondents agree that the website is easy to navigate .This proves that the website' navigational function does not serve its purpose .

Return to Home page from any page

Figure 8 above shows the result of what the users like and dislike about the Restaurant Guide Atlanta webpage .64% of the respondents feel that there is missing return to home page link, 18%of the respondents feel that there are useful internal search engine 0% of the respondents feel that there are broken links, and 18% of the respondents feel that there are too many internal links.

Return to homepage link from other linked pages is important for website , which allows the user to explore the site conveniently .The function also make users not to get lost and feel more secure navigating the site .However , 64% of the respondent feel that there is no return to homepage function , which affects their navigation of the website , and they seem to feel less secure .

Content

Use of irrelevant graphics

Use of relevant graphics is very important in a website as it a main factor that attracts users attention . Irrelevant use of such graphic, symbol or icon that does not relate to the topic, would just simply confuse the clients . This usually occurs as there is a fail in the planning the theme before starting the webpage .

Figure 2 above shows how the graphics are related to the subject . According to figure 2 , 30% of the respondents think that the use of images is "bad" and 33% of the respondents feel that the use of images is really "very bad " . This clearly explain the weakness of the look and feel of the website .

Comparative Analysis

The website we chose to compare Restaurant Guide Atlanta website was Australian Good Food & Travel Guide website(http://www.agfg.com.au/agfg/about/). The reason for chosing tis website for comparison is that it has a similar purpose as the Restaurant Guide Atlanta website which is designed as an essential navigational and rating accomplice .

The difference between both websites will the geographical location that they offer ( Restraunt Guide Atlanta - > Atlanta , was Australian Good Food & Travel Guide -> Australia ) and Australian Good Food & Travel Guide website providing additional travel guide . In the comparative analysis we will be comparing both the websites in terms of contrast, repeated links , alignment ,navigation and content respectively .

Contrast

Background Colour

By just looking at the screenshot 5 above, which one do you think is more visually appealing and striking. It is very obvious that AGFG website's background is more appealing and attractive. AGFG website made use of light grey external background and white background for the internal background for the content and the text color is mainly black .

Where on the other hand , Restaurant Guide Atlanta website has a dull brown textured image for the external background and a brown background for the content and the text color is mainly white throughout .

There is also better readability for the AGFG website as it has a good and bright contrast of using black font on white background. AGFG website's background is also very simple and nice having adequate white space and uncluttered layouts .

Font Size & colour

The screenshot 6 above shows the font size and color used in both AGFG website and Restaurant Guide Atlanta website .Which website is more visually striking and easier to read ? It would be the fonts used in the AGFG website.

AGFG made use of good color contrast by making use of plain white and light grey color for the background and , black and brownish maroon for text. According to research , it was found that using black text on white background increases readability by thirty-two percent faster , and easier for the text to be read .Thus, this shows that AGFG has made wise decision in choosing the background color .

AGFG has also provided clear distinction of element by making use different color and font type .The headers they made use of bold font style and used maroon color to differentiate it from the content . There is also consistent font size, colour and style used by the AGFG website , but Restaurant Guide Atlanta websites fonts are inconsistent throughout , making the website look less appealing. Screenshots 7 below illustrates difference in the use of fonts on both the websites .

Screenshot7 :Consistent vs. Inconsistent fonts used in AGFG website(right) and Restaurant Guide Atlanta website(left) .

Repetition

Hyper Links

The links in AGFG website are well organized and there irrelevant repeated links found in the webpage . A style should only be repeated when there is link between two points , to give a consistent feel.

The screenshot above shows a screenshot of AGFG website's organization of links. Each of these links direct to the users to different webpage and not to the same link . Making use of repeated hyper link would only lead to more confusion for the users . They tried to avoid using such unnecessary links by organizing their services in a simple and well organized form as shown above. If there are too many categories of organization in the home page itself , it would only lead to more repeated links .

An example be websites having links like "About Us" , "Milestone" and "Company History" in the Home Page itself which will all direct users to a common page . It would just make users annoyed and confused . However , AGFG has avoid such repetition , thus it is a user friendly site.

Alignment

Alignment

Comparing the alignment of websites , AGFG's is much well aligned and organized compared to Restaurant Guide Atlanta website . All the links found in the AGFG website is neatly aligned .

The screenshot 8 shows the alignment of both AGFG website and Restaurant Guide Atlanta website. AGFG website's links and search engine are well aligned at the top left hand corner of the webpage and there are justifiable indentation given between each link .But as for Restaurant Guide Atlanta website all the links are cluttered at the top center of the website , and no indentation was given. Screenshot 9 shows the alignment of content which also justifies that AGFG websites alignment is better and more appealing for users.

Screenshot 9: Alignment of search content of AGFG's website(right) and Restaurant Guide Atlanta website (left)

Large Empty Spaces

The screenshot 10 shown above explains it all about the big difference in the amount indentation given at the sides . It clearly shows that Restaurant Guide Atlanta taking up irrelevant spaces at the sides. Indentation is important for a website . But it is not meant to be too much in space . It affects the memory space as well as the look of the . A perfect example on the amount of indentation that should be given is also shown above in screenshot 10 itself , which is the AGFS website's indentation . It looks much better and appealing for users .

First Impression

Look and Feel

Screenshot 11 clearly explains the look and feel of the AGFG's website .AGFG organization were very precise on the choice of font color and background . They made use simple food related theme background and kept the background color white . There was a wise use of font colors, mainly black but maroon font color to differentiate featured elements . The content was also easy to understand because of the organization structure and categorization of the contents . The words as shown above are neatly classified giving the website a professional look .

Value proposition

In the AGFG website , it clearly states the value proposition , which is the purpose of the organization . In screenshot 11 above, under the Philosophy category it has stated "Designed as an essential navigational and rating accomplice, the Australian Good Food and Travel Guide has long been acknowledged as Australia's most comprehensive restaurant, accommodation and travel authority encompassing not only all major metropolitan areas but many of the smaller townships that lie in between." . This is the value proposition statement where it clearly shows users that specializes in " food and beverage " business as travel guide . But unfortunately Restaurant Guide Atlanta lacks of such statement which would make customers confused on what the business is specialized in .

Navigation

Ease of Use

There are many useful navigational functions found on AGFC website which allow user to navigate around the website . It also provides direct access to various content and facilities on the site . The screenshot12 shown on the right and the top are extracts from the website to show how easy is the website to navigate around .

AGFG website is also intuitive , as it has "Login" functions making users interact with the website , which restaurant guide Atlanta is lacking of . AGFG website is also very concise as it does not much scrolling involved .require much scrolling involved .

Return to Home Page

Return to homepage link from other linked pages is important for website , which allows the user to explore the site conveniently .The function also make users not to get lost and feel more secure navigating the site .And this home page navigation functional is readily available in the AGFG website.

Content

Use of relevant graphics.

Screenshot 13 shows the type of graphics used in AGFC website . They have made use of graphics that are relevant at the same time related to the content . An example would be the background image (shown on screenshot 13 left side ) which is a light colored cutlery image in the background . It is related to the topic and also relevant , as if there is no image it will look too plain . Even for the foods that the restaurants provide , they made use of relevant images that look appetizing and attractive .

Conclusion

To sum it up in a nutshell , Restaurant Guide Atlanta's website has both its strengths and weaknesses . Its strengths include its URL and fast download speed . Even though it has its strengths, it has also a lot of weaknesses. The weaknesses of the websites have been analyzed by its contrast, repetition, alignment, first impression, navigation and content .

We reanalyzed our observation with a survey taken from 40 respondents. We have stated our weaknesses base on our survey results and observation.

Restaurant Guide Atlanta website is currently running successfully. But by eliminating all the existing weaknesses, the number of visitors would increase greatly, therefore increasing the revenue earned by Restaurant Guide Atlanta.

There are few recommendations that we have discussed and that are relevant in eliminating those weaknesses . Hopefully these recommendations are up to your consideration .

Recommendation

Contrast

Text Font

Webpage fonts are very important for creating an impact on the user's impression of a website. Thus importance should be given for the choice of font colour, style, and size. Using different font colour and size is recommended to differentiate elements like the header , sub heading and content . It is also recommended to make use of dominant colours to highlight important elements.

An example of such usage of text is shown in example 1 which is created by us to give a rough idea .It is making use of black font in white background .It is simple and at same time appealing .

Background

Food researchers say that when humans searched for food, they learned to avoid toxic or spoiled objects, which were often blue, black, or purple. When food dyed blue is served to study subjects, they lose appetite. Green, brown, and red are the most popular food colours.

Through analysing the research , we recommend to make use of brown colour for the background The existing website is using dull brown coloured background . But now we would recommend making use of bright and attractive brown background . As brown is considered one of the popular food colours , it would psychologically create appetite for visitors .One of the models we did to illustrate the background that can be use is the image shown in example 2 .

Repetition

Hyper Link

There are too many repeated links found on the restaurant guide Atlanta website. It is going to only make visitors more confused .We recommend to combine all the repeated links together in organized form and display it at the bottom of the Home Page . We tried to make a model to illustrate it which is shown in example 3 below .

Alignment

Alignment

A good alignment of a website must ensure that everything in a website must be visually connected to others , and nothing should be different from all the other elements , unless it is a unique categorization . We recommend to align all the contents and links with indentation as poor alignment of sites tend to turn of users . There should be also no overlapping of content . Through proper categorization and alignment , overlapping of content and graphics can be avoided

Large Empty Spaces

The screenshot 14 above shows original extract from restraint from restaurant guide Atlanta website and edited version of the same image which has justifiable amount of indentation only .Which one looks better ? It would be the edited on. So we would like to recommend spanning the content and making full use of the page. It would therefore reduce the amount of scrolling that is required in a webpage.

First Impression

Look & Feel

The look and feel of a website reflects strongly on the organization. It is important for every business owners to make sure that their business is well presented in a form of website online, which is well designed and mainly focus on the business identity.

Since we have already recommended light background , we would to suggest to text of the content to be dark color , preferably black , as text is meant to be darker than background so as to have a clear readability .It would also attract attention to the fonts rather than the background by doing so .We have came with an illustration which is shown in example 4 below .

Value Proposition

Value proposition is what sets you and your business apart from competition. It can be an actual fact or a perceived difference or specialty. Every business needs one. In order to achieve that value proposition we recommend to the website to show the purpose of users visiting the site ( award winning , reliable , user friendly ) . The site should also tell users the class of the website (elegant , budget ) .

Navigation

Ease of Use

A navigational system of a website is expected to be intuitive and easy to use, providing direct access to various content and facilities on the site . We woul like the website to be user friendly by being concise , having only little scrolling required . And also availability of return to home page navigational function is required so that users do not get lost or stuck in any of the related links.

The Restaurant Guide Atlanta also can be intuitive by having LOGIN function whereby it gets the users preference stored and automatically refine information shown on the page . And lastly , Information should be easily available and multiple "clicks" should not be needed .We have made a illustrative example which is shown below .

Content

Use of irrelevant graphics

Use of relevant graphics is very important in a website as it a main factor that attracts users attention . Irrelevant use of such graphic, symbol or icon that does not relate to the topic, would just simply confuse the clients.

So we would recommend to make use of relevant and beautiful food pictures . It would give users impression that you are recommending quality food and also getting the visitors into hungry mood .A picture speaks a thousand words. Thus correct use of appetizing food images is recommended.

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