Case Studies #4:

This Case Study is in regards to the website, a website that allows users to share content they find on the web with others.

At the top of the page is the secondary navigation bar, which consists of “Join Digg”, “About”, and “Login”.
Below this is the primary navigation bar, which splits up the content into the different categories that users may be searching for. This is a different color from the bar above it containing the banner, and contains drop-downs to further refine the applied filters.
Below the primary navigation bar are options to view the content different, such as photos or videos. This allows the user to have a customized output of results when visiting the page.
Below the content on the page are links that paginate the results. This helps to break up the results so that users do not have to scroll down an extremely long page and allow the page to load faster.
At the bottom of the page are links that users may find helpful. They include links to the main pages on the site, tools that the site provides to its users, and a FAQ section for users that need help using the site.

The architecture of is fairly straightforward, with a primary level that contains the main pages of the site such as the homepage, about, contact, blog, search, and help. When a search is made or content on the main page is browsed, the site becomes “deeper.” That is, the pages become linked to each other and form a chain that a user can view from the beginning or jump to a certain page (through the pagination navigation controls). At each of the results, the user who contributed it is also linked. Clicking on the user’s name next to the result brings you to their user-page, which has biographical information, how long they’ve been a member, and number of “diggs” they have made. This is an easy to use architecture, as the only pages that take a few clicks to find are the actual results of a search. That is, I can find out how to look for something easily (ex., I can click on “Technology” in the primary navigation bar and find content that is technology based), and then I can scroll and look through the results to find something that looks interesting. If I wanted to find help on using the site, I would only have to click on a link under the “Help” section at the bottom of the page. This keeps the number of clicks to a minimum, which prevents users from becoming annoyed and leaving the site.

The content hierarchy is very apparent through the use of bold letters, letter size, and letter color. On the home page of the site:
Heading 1:
Large black font, used for result headline

Heading 2:
Large blue font, bold, used for result title

Heading 3:
Small blue font, used for information below result details (comments, user who posted, etc)

Small black font, used for main result information

This setup allows users to quickly determine what is important and what is additional information about the result.

The layout of the site starts with three rows that contain navigation links, and then changes to two columns with nested rows in the left column that contain the content and nested rows in the right column that contain popular content in the subject area selected. This is a common layout that is easy to navigate and find information on, as other sites use it as well.

However, the layout of the left column can be changed to a grid format by clicking the layout icons at the top of the results, further allowing the results to be customized by the user.

The site has several icons that help users to navigate the page and accomplish tasks quicker. These include:
Layout – changes the current layout of the results between rows and grid:Comment – allows users to comment on the results:Share – share results with a friend:Bury – remove results from the page to allow more room for other content:Customize – change the settings of the page:Dropdown arrow – indicates that there are more options available on the navigation bar:Camera – indicates a picture result:Camcorder – indicates a video result:Color Palette:
The site’s main colors green and blue, with accents made in orange and red. The background is mostly white and text, when forming paragraphs, is in black.


Site Focus:
The focus of the site is to connect different users to content that they normally would not find on the internet. With several billion web pages on the internet, it is impossible for strange and interesting pages to reach everyone. This site allows you to share what you found with others who find the same types of content desirable.
An important feature of the site is the ability for users to receive RSS feeds on content that they find interesting. This allows them to be updated to new content without having to continually check the site.

A possible improvement to the site could be to decrease the width of the paragraphs located beneath the content titles. This would allow users to scan the information quickly and prevent users from having to scan from side to side excessively.

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