Case Studies #5:

This Case Study is in regards to the website, a website for a car sharing business for residents in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The navigation for the site is set up with a primary navigation bar at the top of the page, a drop down secondary navigation, and a navigation section at the bottom of the page that contains rarely used or special user links (such as developers and universities).
This is an easy to use interface, as rolling over one of the titles in the primary navigation bar quickly creates a dropdown that has additional links under the same category.

The top right of the page contains a login box for current members. This location is common on many websites, and allows someone to locate it quickly.

The architecture of the website is easy to navigate. Clicking on a link brings you to that page. If I click on “Businesses” in the primary navigation bar, I will be brought to the businesses web page. From here I have additional links to take me to the other sub-pages of this topic, or I can use the secondary navigation to get there.
The other pages are set up similarly. This allows the user to quickly go to a specific page, while also allowing new users to see general overviews of the information on the site. Users can get to almost any page on the website through this architecture as the pages are all interconnected. This prevents certain pages from becoming lost on the site and dead-end pages that have no other links.

The content hierarchy is very apparent through the use of bold letters, letter size, and letter color.
Heading 1:
Large font (either dark purple, green, or white depending on the background)

Heading 2:
Medium green font, used as sub-headings on pages.

Small black font, used for information requiring sentences and paragraphs.

This typography is fairly easy to read, and the size of the text reflects its importance on the page.

To the right of the information on the main page, there is a box for recent news and updates. Also, the pages are organized so that there are user categories (business users, residential, etc). This makes it quick and simple for members to find information that pertains to them and not information about other member types accidently (such as when the information is all together and separated by headline titles.)

The layout of the site is a bounding corner and a main content section. The Top of the bounding corner consists of the primary navigation and banner, while the right of the bounding corner consists of the login box.

This keeps the content of the site enclosed within further options that a user may find useful. This also helps to define the edge of the page and prevent it from looking like it extends forever.

The site uses some icons to help users navigate, and also images to show cars and locations of pods available.

Icons include:
Separation icon used between links in the primary navigation.
Simple dot for bulleted items.

Images include:
Map image for pod locations.

Car images to indicate cars available.

These images of the cars help users determine which car they should rent for certain events and also what car to look for when arriving at the pod location.

Color Palette:
The color palette of the site is very important to showcase the organization’s position. The green color really stresses the point that this is a green-oriented organization. The use of the shared cars helps to reduce greenhouse gas production, helping the environment. This is more than just a way for users to save money in Philadelphia. It’s a way for users to take a step toward a better Earth.
In addition to the green, purple, yellow, black, white and are also used. The purple and yellow are compliments to the green and do not overpower the color, while the black and white are used as text and the main background color.

Site Focus:
The focus of the site is to provide PhillyCarShare members and prospective members with information on how a membership will help them and how to reserve a car. The site makes it easy to do this, as the navigation is user-friendly (links are well titled, and are not ambiguous) and the layout is clear and concise (the text is easy to read, there aren’t several paragraphs of information). A few great features of the site include the news box on the front page of the site and the reservation system.

The news box makes it easy for members to quickly see any updates or changes to the system that could affect them and also see any special events that they may want to take part of being offered by PhillyCarShare or sponsor companies.
The reservation system makes it very easy to make a reservation for a specific vehicle. It is graphically setup so that users can quickly see when cars are and are not available. This makes is easy for members to determine when and where they can use a car and when they have to return it, increasing the efficiency of the entire system for all users.

An improvement that could be made would be to make the green text on the white background darker. It is fairly light, and could be difficult to read for some people. Making it darker would make it easier to read, and since it is a heading, this is important.

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