National Park Service
The National Park Service page presents some problems for potential visitors. First, the homepage is a bit overwhelming and doesn't place enough significance on hierarchy or content. Instead of featuring 6 unrelated articles on the homepage, this could be improved by just featuring one article, or featuring multiple that are all connected under one uniting concept. The navigation of the site is also too difficult. I would assume that most visitors to the site are likely coming to look at one specific park, or plan their trip. The "menu" icon on the side is too small, and should be a more central part of the website since that's likely the primary tool visitors are using. The "menu" function should be done away with altogether, and the options currently under "menu" (Plan Your Visit, Learn and Explore, Get Involved), should be listed at the top of the site as a reoccurring item on each page. Lastly, the branding on the National Park Service website could be improved. The aesthetic of this website reads more as a news page, and less as a resource for those visiting national parks. More imagery of the National Parks should be used throughout the website.
I'm glad this assignment is to critique the websites, because PennyJuice.com has a terrible layout that is actually quite discomforting to look at. First, the design of the website and use of color looks less like a professional juice company, and more like my Myspace page from 2009. The neon colors are overwhelming. They should tone down the overall background, and use the bright pops of color to highlight the important messaging they want to stand out. Their is no contrast on the current website; the amount of color currently has everything "standing out." And when everything stands out, nothing does. Penny Juice should also consider the demographic they're targeting with the website. The overwhelming use of color and overall design of this website is more typical of marketing to children, however the site states that it is a "fruit juice concentrate specifically designed for childcare centers." The decision makers for childcare centers are adults, so Penny Juice should design their website in a way that targets adults and is appealing to adults, but still makes use of pops of color and fun graphics to demonstrate that the product itself is for children.
Apple is a much larger corporation than many of the other websites I'm examining, so it's expected that their web design, branding, and aesthetic would be superior... and it certainly is well crafted! In my opinion, Apple's strongest points on their website are the ease of use and contrast. Instead of affording the visitor typical drop down menus, the Apple website showcases a sleek design that is still easy to navigate. You click first on the item you want to explore (Mac, iPad, iPhone, ect.) and then are given more options on that specific page. This design element makes the website look more simple and futuristic which is very in line with Apple's branding, and doesn't overwhelm the visitor with too many options, making it easier to navigate.
The contrast of colors is also incredibly striking. They use of primarily black and white, so when another color is used, it really pops and draws your attention. For example, the photo bellow of the Macbook page uses isolated color to draw your attention to the product.
Head Hunter Hairstyling
Head Hunter Hairstyling does a great job with their use of color and contrast, as well as repetition. Their logo appears at the top of each page, and their contact information and social media links appear at the bottom of each page, no matter where you navigate on the site. It creates a uniform view that is appealing to the visitor, and creates an easy call to action should the visitor want to connect with the business on social media. The use of color and contrast attributes to the overall branding of the website, and creates a sleek design communicating a professional and modern hair business.