When designing the layout of the site it was essential that research into websites similar to the one my group and I would be creating. This would provide us with an understanding of the generic features used across all sites and the effective aspects that many include that we could interpret on our site.
One feature I have noticed is all sites work in a horizontal way. Many of the content is split horizontally, the navigation bars, footers and page content are all arranged across the page. This is effective as it allows users to establish the different sections of the site. Additionally it offers good use of space whilst remaining interesting for users.
Another feature I found many of the sites use is a main search/button main feature on the home page of each site. The search/button feature allows users to move into the site in a personal way with them selecting which page they want to be moved to. This feature is something when designing the site I will include.
This feature is found on uk.easyroommate.com, I will defiantly include something like this on the homepage of the web application as it makes the site appear easy to use, meaning users will be happy to continue their experience beyond the home page of the site.
To create a successful form it is essential that the submit or search button stands out. With this button standing out users can recognise what the form does with ease due to its text label. Additionally users can easily submit the data and gain quick results rather than having to search around a page for the buttons.
All of the forms I saw on house finder websites incorporated the main colours used on the site. This made sure the form looked connected to the site and meant users would understand it is part of the site and can be trusted. Additionally they were positioned central to the page to ensure they are recognisable to users, this is a feature I am interested in incorporating into the website my group and I will create.
The forms include different methods of submitting data into a form. Varying from entering fields to drop down menus to section boxes. These different options allow a simpler and easier experience for users, when entering data they can understand what is being asked quicker with the answers offering support additionally the answers mean correct and relevant information can be submitted so when the room appears on the results page all data is correct therefore allowing interested parties to enquire with ease.
Displaying the results is a main aspect of the site we will be creating. Connecting to the centralised database to allow the sites purpose to be met, to display vacant rooms by the different universities in the south. Research into existing sites that display houses was needed as it would allow for an understanding about the general layout.
Research into many different sites took place. Key aspects of the display are that they feature:
- An image
- A description of the property
- Date added
- Contact information
Therefore when display results on our site I will incorporate the relevant information for users to be informed about the properties.