Web Design Goodies Critique #9

By Joe Burns

Web Design Goodies Critique #9

Published November 07, 2000 By Joe Burns, Ph.D.

Greetings, Fellow Designers,

You might have guessed this about me already, but I used to do math and word puzzles. I give them to my students all the time as bonus questions. Today's site is built around just that type of brainteaser. It's Mark Reed's Math Man site. Here's one of his puzzles: Every third visitor to a new florist receives a rose. Every tenth visitor receives a plant. Every twenty-fifth visitor receives a bouquet. What number visitor is the first to receive all three gifts?

I'll give the answer in a moment.

Now the obligatory release statement

>>>>The critique below represents the opinions of Joe Burns, Ph.D. Feel free to disagree, argue, forget, or accept anything he writes. The purpose of the critique is to offer examples that you may use to revise or forget about when it comes to your own Web site. As always, remember that there are simply no hard and fast rules to Web design. Any choice is the correct choice as long as that choice aids the user and fulfills the site's purpose.<<<<

Title: Math Man
http://www.crosswinds.net/~math6/ Author: Mark Reed
Load Time: 18 Seconds, 56Kbps modem, cleared cache, 10/7/00 7:22 AM
My Screen Size: 1024X768
Browsers Used: Internet Explorer 5.5 and Netscape Navigator

Concept: It's a site dedicated to all things mathematical, geared towards the students and parents from the sixth grade math class that Mark teaches. There are brainteasers, homework assignments, review topics, tests, and all other manner of things that make students say, "Do we have to know this?"

Praise: I've gone into this before, but I'll probably end up hitting it 100 times more before I finish writing these critiques. One of the first things you must do as a site designer is to decide who makes up your audience. Mark has nailed it. This site is not geared toward the students. It's for the parents. At first look, it might appear that kids are the target audience, because there are cartoons, and the text is done in Comic Sans, but when all is said and done, this is a site for parents. The kids may do the work, but the parents are the ones who will be using the site. In the section regarding how to use the site, Mark has a small paragraph addressed to students. He then has this "This site is also designed for parents and family members of the students. It will show them what we're studying in class, let them know what vocabulary their students should know, and tell them the weekly homework and tests schedule. This will allow them to help their student prepare and do his or her best."

Smart. The students are listed first--but this site is really for the parents. Mark knows this and is rather sly about it, so the kids don't catch wind of the fact that their parents can use this site to check up on them.

Here's the home page:

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