My son has just started middle school, and along with becoming oriented to an unfamiliar school environment, he now has “homework like never before,” and it is not just the amount of homework.
His teachers no longer send home printed homework sheets. Students are expected to visit the teachers’ individual websites to download assignments, study guides, and watch lectures. And while going online is not normally a problem for technophile middle schoolers, it becomes a problem when the websites are poorly designed.
Visitors come to a website to satisfy goals, to perform tasks, and to get answers to questions. If users cannot find what they’re looking for on a website, they will go elsewhere. But my son can’t go elsewhere. He has no choice but to muddle through the unclear navigation and bad design to find what he needs. It is maddening.
Still, you can learn a lot from being forced to use a poorly designed website, including ways to improve your own or a client’s.