The websites I chose are about the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site. Frederick Douglass is “one of the most prominent African Americans in the 19th century.” Both the websites document the life of Douglass through images, texts, descriptions, and more.
The first website (https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/frederick-douglass-national-historic-site) has a lot on the front page but is very well organized. There is a short description of the website, a collection of images with metadata listed for each separate attachment, a virtual tour, a map, and more information about the physical site. At the very top of the website, there are buttons to share the website on multiple social media platforms. Farther down, there is a virtual tour. This is fun to examine because the users can place themselves inside the historic site and explore the entire museum by clicking to move and looking around. However, if users would rather actually visit the museum, the map shows the exact location and address. Even the open/closed hours are listed at the bottom under the map, which is very useful.
The second website (https://www.nps.gov/museum/exhibits/frdo/idea.html) looks like it was made a long time ago. It opens on an overview of the exhibit, and several tabs are listed in a row at the top. There are plenty of pictures on the website, and upon clicking them, the picture will expand and there is an option to show the full caption in a new tab. I think it would be more convenient if the full caption was already shown when the image was clicked on. However, this website is more descriptive with the labeled tabs at the top because it includes descriptions for more specific topics. There are also a few quotes listed from Douglass himself. At the bottom of the Overview page, there is a link to click on “Park Home Page,” which opens a website by the National Park Service about the Frederick Douglass Museum. More information is accessible from here.
Both these websites are good in their own ways, but if I had to pick the better one, I would pick the first one. The reason for this is that the first website has a link to the second website, but the second website does not have a link to the first one. The first website obviously tries to include more information, and this may be because it is hosted by Google, whereas the second one is hosted by the National Park Service.
One thought on “Comparative Website Review”
This is a great overview of both websites and their strengths and weaknesses. Interestingly, the first website was created by Google’s initiative, Arts & Culture– so all of the affiliated collections have similar navigation and appearance. I agree that its a much “cleaner” look than the second website. With that said, I also agree with your analysis of the second website, which offers a much closer look into Douglass’ private life, home, family, and interests. The National Park Service always does a fairly good job of maintaining the information on their sites, but I agree that this one could use some updating. Thank you for your thoughtful analyses on these websites– it certainly puts them in conversation with one another!