Thomas Graves Critique - http://foodtrader.org/
1) Strive for consistency.
The website loads very quickly across all accessible pages and the outline of the major buttons makes it very navigable. When looking over at www.agtrader.org users will have to adapt to a completely different layout. The two layouts should be similar.
2) Cater to universal usability.
Create Account should be closer to “Sign in” so that the user doesn’t have to go scanning for “Create Account” which is a different color than “Sign In” is. Having the two next to each other is the general norm for most web pages so less experienced users may have trouble. Also advanced search happens to be a very tedious feature that takes you to a different web page and it might be easier to add a subsection of the feature on the main screen for quicker searching. The colors may leave some users frustrated as they are very diverse and light colors on a white background may put a lot of strain on their eyes.
3) Other informative feedback.
When registering for an account, when an error occurs it tells you the type of error and who to contact. When buttons are clicked, the borders of the page remain the same and the center of the screen changes to the user’s request which eliminates having to refocus their eyes which is good.
4) Design dialogs to yield closure.
The site does a decent job at notifying the user when actions have been accomplished. I attempted to register for the website and with every step of the process I was updated with the status of my registration up until the failure of it. I think it would be beneficial if the website implemented something where you could rate your interactions with different farmers so that you would feel better at the final stages when contacting a high rated farmer versus a farmer who posts a lot of items but does not respond to emails leaving the customers unable to purchase goods.
5) Prevent Errors.
While trying to create an account I encountered an exchange system error and was unable to register successfully. Unfortunately the error says that my page could not be displayed but I’m not totally sure what the page was supposed to display or how far into the registration process I was. Also the website wanted me to spend time and submit an error report. The error report should be submitted automatically. Aside from the errors, the interface needs a little work. When filling out a field incorrectly the site notifies the user which fields need to be fixed but does not necessarily tell how to fix the fields or which formatting errors were violated.
6) Permit easy reversal of actions
The “back button” that comes with all internet browsers is supported and there is even a built in back button on most pages which is good.
7) Support internal locus of control
Consumers feel helpless as they try to register repeatedly and get the “system exchange” error every time. Also customers have no way of filtering out unwanted items from the listing without performing a search.
8) Reduce short-term memory load
If someone is clicking “next” to browse the list of goods they should not have to scroll back down to see their results.