Comparing Websites

I chose to compare the websites under category B. The first website I looked at was “The Geography of Slavery in Virginia”. This website is used to inform readers through “digital collection[s] of advertisements for runaway and captures slaves and servants [during] the 18th and 19th century”. The purpose of this collection is to give personal, geographical, and documentary context for studying slavery in Virginia up until the Civil War. The landing page of this website welcomes you with a very small image and small background of the collection. Following to the Advertisements, Documents, Explanatory Essays, Personal Profiles, and Resources tabs, there is a lot of writing and hyperlinks that lead you to more writing. A lot of writing on a website can scare away a reader for many reasons. When a user goes on a website, they want clearly stated facts and usually visuals help more than text, along with the site being easy to navigate. The “Geography of Slavery in Virginia” collection is full of outdated layouts and way too much text. It is very easy to give up on reading all this information, no matter how informational and moving it may be. On the bright side, it is very easy to navigate, but the pages of this collection contain too much text and are not pleasing to look at.

The second website I am analyzing is “Freedom On the Move”. This project is full of newspaper snippets of runaway ads, and the “Freedom On the Move” is a database full of fugitives from North American slavery. This website is very easy to navigate and full of intriguing visuals. You can immediately watch an animated short video with great visuals once you land on the homepage of the website. In contrast from the previous website, “Freedom On the Move” is full of illustrations that help the reader create a visual understanding of the setting and get more involved with the history. Aside from there being less text and more pictures than the first website, this website also is visually more pleasing, and you can tell it was created more recently, which is always a plus. This website leads you to a page where you can search keywords and research exactly what you are looking for. I think this website was greatly put together and extremely user friendly. It is engaging with the ability to input information of your interest, and again, the visuals make it much more motivating to use this website.

One thought on “Comparing Websites

  1. I really like your observations about the first website having so much writing, and you’re right to conclude that too much writing might lose viewers. There has to be some kind of balance, which draws our attention to the second website. I like the term you used to characterize this website, that it gives a “virtual understanding.” It is so much more immersive. Even though both of these websites center newspaper ads, the second website front-loads imagery from these newspapers, which is far more exciting than just the text itself. I also think this website is much more user-friendly and accessible for broader audiences.

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