What’s Hot, What’s Not – Eval. of Histories of National Mall: Past Events Webpage

This is an evaluation for the Histories of National Malls: Past Events page. I am working along side Alexis Soto for this blog. He and I are classmates for Intro to Public History and have teamed up for this evaluation. The five categories that we will critique this website on are:

  • aesthetics
  • user-friendliness
  • layout
  • relevant content
  • source

Beginning first with the aesthetics of this page, we have both found the fonts and color scheme to be consistent throughout. Take note of the orange as the primary color, the gray-green as the secondary color, and the white background as the tertiary color.

Ex. 1

Additionally, Alex and I also appreciated the shadow effect around the timeline text. This helps to give depth and separation from a plain ol’ flat screen.

Ex. 2

However, we do think that this website needs to add wallpaper images to their background in order to visually stimulate the audience. Take note of the free space at the top of the website. There is a big chuck of space in the “Events (96 total)” header that could otherwise be used to present relevant images of some sort.

Ex. 3

As for the user-friendliness of this page, we both found it convenient that the web-designer(s) added a “Jump to a period” tool at the top of the page so that the user can navigate the timeline of past events.

Ex. 4

Additionally, within just about every event link that can be clicked on, there are additional hyperlinks that are embedded in to the words of the description text. This is useful to have quick access to other websites that correlate with the topic of interest. Here is an example:

Ex. 5

Moving on the the layout of this page, the same critiques about, the appreciation of the “jump to period” tool and our issue with the excessive free space at the top of the page, are applied here also. We feel as if the jump to period tool is set in a convenient location. However, it would be even more convenient if the tool was a side bar function that scrolls while the user scrolls through the page. This way, the user won’t have to scroll to the top of the page every time to change the time period . (Refer back to Ex. 4 for a visualization.)

Plus, the excessive blue colored free space at the top of the page takes up more than half of the screen as a header and would otherwise look better if the space was smaller. After all, while the page should be emphasize as an Events page, it doesn’t need this much header space for dramatic effect; this  should just be simple yet distinguishable header. (Refer back to Ex. 3 for a visualization.)

In the fourth category we have relevant content. As far as writing and descriptions go, all writings are important and relevant to the past events of the Histories of the National Malls page. Not only is it relevant, but the text itself isn’t too lengthly, which helps to keep the lesson short yet in informative. (Refer back to Ex. 5 for a visualization.)

The last important category of critique is source. Here we were pleased to find out that within each event page comes its own source information. Not only is this ethically important to cite the appropriate person and location and the source, but it is also informative in case the user desires to research the source’s background.


Ex. 6


Well, there ya have it! These are just some of the ways in which these top five critiques: aesthetics, use-friendliness, layout, relevant content, and source can be used to evaluate web design. Hopefully this helps you, too, keep a look out for what’s hot and what’s NOT.


Alexis Soto and Jacob Henson