Prepare a report that analyzes and evaluates 3 to 5 sites on the Web.
Length: about 1000 - 1250 words
Assume you have been hired as a technical communications consultant for an organization that
wishes to develop a presence on the web (or renovate an existing site). As a preliminary step for this
larger project, you will analyze and evaluate sites for similar organizations, focusing on issues of
effective communication, the public image portrayed, and the usefulness of a particular site for its
intended users. That preliminary report is the assignment for this report.
You may make up the organization for which you are working. It may be a corporation or business
(or a department of a large corporation), non-profit agency, educational institution, or governmental
agency. The focus of this paper is not on “your” organization, but the various websites you analyze.
Find a group of sites that you can reasonably evaluate in the time given. Huge sites (like Microsoft)
have so much information that it would be difficult to do much more than describe the site in the
space you have to work with. If you choose smaller sites, you may be able to cover a greater
number of sites. If you choose larger sites, don’t choose quite as many, and consider focusing on a
relevant portion of each site. (Please don't choose the Big Three automaker sites, since we've
already discussed those in class.
Because the web is a comparatively recent publication format (in the history of publishing), we’ve not
yet agreed on a consistent set of criteria by which to evaluate a site. Although we can all agree that
some sites are ineffective and others do a better job, our discussion about what constitutes a “good
site” is still ongoing. Nevertheless, you need to choose some criteria by which to evaluate these sites
in order to write your evaluation. (To some extent, you’ll also need to argue — at least implicitly —
that the criteria you have chosen are good ones, particularly for the type of organization for which
you are designing the website.)
In choosing criteria, focus on factors that affect the site’s rhetorical impact: how will it communicates,
rather than how well it functions. In other word, don’t look at how well Google searches or how well
Amazon sells books, but on how those sites are organized and presented to make those functions
easy to use.
This is an informal report, which means that it would benefit from some judicious use of headings
and perhaps subheads, but it certainly does not need the full apparatus of a formal report. Skim
Chapter 17 for some ideas about the format for this paper. Your final draft should either take the
form of a memo, or include a brief memo of transmittal as its first page. A memo of transmittal briefly
indicates the scope and method of your report and may include a summary of your results. The
memo should be addressed to someone at the company who has hired you to produce this report.
|Due By (Pacific Time)||02/03/2016 04:00 pm|
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