For this evaluation of literacy centers online, I will be reviewing the website for the Literacy Coalition of Colorado (found here: http://www.literacycolorado.org/contact.htm). I found this website using a very broad Google search for “literacy groups in Colorado.” In perusing a few other sites from my initial search, I noticed how turned-off I became over extremely complex websites. If I come to a page where there is too much going on, such as graphics, text columns (multiple), scrolling text, advertisements, etc. I become quite overwhelmed. It is very hard to navigate websites that are as “busy” as this because I constantly feel like I am overlooking important information or sections of the website. Not to mention, I become frustrated when ads for First Bank are on a website for literacy…relevance?
With regard to the Literacy Coalition site, I really appreciate the layout and design of the site. The aesthetic is simple (with the logo displayed in the top left corner and no other images), yet visually pleasing. I also like how the text does not take up the whole page; it makes the content easier to peruse and maneuver. There is a navigation pane on the left side with various links to separate pages, making the site user-friendly in light of this intuitive organization. When I clicked on a link, only relevant information was displayed; there was no inundation of pop-ups, frivolous ads or extraneous information that I did not want.
What I also like about this particular site is the conciseness of the text. Rather than provide extremely lengthy descriptions of the program and work, they provide bullet-points regarding “their solution,” who they are, what they are doing and what they have accomplished. Although detail can be nice at times, I think for a more general audience (i.e. casual readers or students), this format would be optimal. The quantity of information was not overwhelming, while the quality was high. The content was informative and provided a nice overview of the organization and its work.
The links or sub-tabs on the Literacy Coalition site are also quite pertinent to the CLC’s work. The links are as follows and correlate to our work closely: benefits of literacy (overview of literacy and/or community literacy in our case), programs and services (i.e. SpeakOut), volunteer (including opportunities and trainings), news and events (newsletter archive), donate (good place for information about the program’s funding), and contact. All of these tabs would be useful on the CLC site, I believe. Additionally, I envision a “resource” section being quite helpful, including links to the SpeakOut 2.0 site, CLC and intern blogs, as well as staff bio’s.
Although the site did include a “news and events” section, it did not appear up to date. I was actually unable to determine how often the website was updated.
The contact information was easy to find, included as its own tab. The site had a built-in email application within their contact section. I think these types of applications can be quite useful for contacting organizations due to the hassle (sometimes) of having to find an email and then open your email to contact. I think having a built-in application can be especially user-friendly and more convenient than having to email an organization on your own.
There is little I would change about the website. It would have been nice to see more updated events and what the organization has been doing recently. Otherwise, I thought it was very easy for me to navigate and gather all desired information about their work.