Fat Hands

she used to sit in this cafe, and just face the wall. And it wasn’t coffee she was drinking

Visit. Our. Webshite #2 – Association for Families who have Adopted from Abroad (AFAA)

Posted by Alix on 16 May 2007

This website is lilac. I hate lilac, so from the off I’m angry. Next problem – they’ve opted to have the bastard lilac ‘embossed’, if that is the correct term. Why does anyone do this? Trying to fool people into thinking it’s been written on lovely posh paper? Stop mistaking the internet for paper. It’s not paper. It’s something else*. Besides, imitating something classy is even less classy than not using it at all. Next point – they’ve described themselves as ‘an UK based Charity helping Perants and Children of Overseas and inter-country adoptions’. Aside from the obvious made-up word, I am disproportionately annoyed by the arbitrary capitalisation of some of the nouns. What’s wrong with ‘UK based charity helping parents and children of overseas and inter-country adoptions’? I do wish that people wouldn’t use capitals unnecessarily; it fucks with the way it scans and makes me think the writer is a moron.

There are two options from the front page – the text only site and the enhanced site. I suggest that they would be less confusingly signposted using the following names ‘Text Only Site’ and ‘Full Site’ or something like that. No need to include the name of the organisation, we already know we’re on their website. Or should I say ‘web-site’? They insist on hyphenating this, which brings to mind people who still write phone as ‘phone. Also, there’s a comma shoved in before ‘web-site’. Very messy. I am feeling pretty riled and I’m not even into the ‘web-site’ proper. Don’t get me started on why they shouldn’t describe it as ‘enhanced’.

I shall pass over that animated stork without comment. It speaks for itself.

Once inside it’s not so awful. Still lilac, now with the name diagonally running over the background, lest we forget where we are. Also in case we forget they’ve helpful paraphrased their remit, again with random capitals. The top left corner has a blue text box with red text on it, which hurts my eyes and serves no real purpose. The menu is rather too discreet, and the first two buttons ‘Index’ and ‘Welcome’ are not helpful, taking you back to the front page, and to the current page respectively. ‘Contents’ does go somewhere new though – it would be much more sensible if this was what the front page linked straight through to.

To fulfil the ‘useability’ criteria I am looking for a brief summary of their services, and contact details. The ‘Find Fast’ drop-down menu in the top left corner takes me to their ‘About AFAA’ page – a headingless table, with some grammatical errors (eg ‘What our are Objective’). It’s almost useful, but the page is just a front page for the various links which simply go through to a further page for each heading, which only has a short paragraphs worth of text on it. I get the feeling someone learnt how to do links and got carried away. The contact details are somewhat elusive; there is no dedicated contact page, although I can find the number for an information line, and an email address.

It’s pretty hard for me to find satisfactory ways to explain half of this, but one of the things I would like to express about this ‘web-site’ is that it’s actually pretty limited in terms of content, yet the amount of links, menus and pages give the inaccurate impression that there is lots of content. There’s not – it’s just the structure of the pages is misleadingly labelled, with pages with links back to themselves. There don’t need to be half as many pages as there are. To be fair there is a bit more stuff about their events buried in there, but it’s not immediately obvious. The ‘Find Fast’ drop-down menu is frustratingly inconsistent – it includes the ‘About AFAA’ link, but the same list also includes items found on the ‘About AFAA’ page, ie things that are, hierarchically speaking, not on the same level.

One final point – it’s cocking annoying to have a box at the bottom of each page with ‘Patron: His Honour Michael Cook’ in big letters, as if it’s more interesting and as relevant than everything else. I couldn’t give a fig who their patron is!

On a scale of 1-Shit this web-site scores 6.5

*what IS the internet made of? Plastic? Bytes? Lolcats? The dreams of children?


One Response to “Visit. Our. Webshite #2 – Association for Families who have Adopted from Abroad (AFAA)”

  1. Alix said

    I am really annoyed that Blogger won’t let me change the text size, and has chosen to put this in 2 different sizes, even though I never requested it. Grr.

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