Website Comparative Analysis- NGI Creative and Advertech

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The internet has been expanding since the 1980s and since then has become a prime location for business and its consumers. This growth in information technology means that many businesses can manufacture an online company website. Advertising has always been involved with popular culture ever since the 1900s when the photographic element was combined and now many sites show pop-ups or sidebars for advertising a business or a product. The internet can help a business or product by appealing to its demographic audience and the types of advertising. “The multimedia aspect of the web content is more closely related to the types of advertisements with which they are familiar- such as colour spreads in magazines, boxed advertisements in newspapers and commercial breaks in TV and radio.” (Barrett, 1997) This means that with the internet, a demographic is easy to reach with advertisements and the consumer psychology of relate-able layout and design is easy to implement.

In this comparative analysis, the two advertising websites to be studied are ‘Advertech‘ and ‘NGI‘. They will be reviewed and compared in terms of their usability, their layout and their user generated content (UGC). ‘Advertech’ offers creative services including corporate communications, advertising design and graphic design. It is a design communications website and a division from ‘Butcher Communications‘ in the USA. NGI is a London based advertising business and recently established in 2010. They have worked in collaboration with ‘GMTV‘ and ‘John Lewis‘ and describes itself as a website design company and branding consultancy.

Firstly, search engine optimization (SEO) can potentially improve the website of a business in terms of time-saving to a client and searching for specific keywords. This in turn could help improve the site by catering to the consumer’s needs. “It is quite interesting to spend a few moments to look at the ways people phrase queries and try to estimate what they might be trying to find. Searches provide hand insights into users’ wants. (Nielsen, 2000). Both ‘NGI’ and ‘Advertech’ fail to provide a search engine anywhere on their homepages. Instead they have opted for menus to detail clients and service they provide. This could be seen as hindering the websites with a particular focus on consumer queries. However, it is important to remember that ‘NGI’ is a newly established website so the lack of SEO could be explained by structural problems if the site is still under maintenance, whereas ‘Advertech’ is an established business and would benefit from a search engine. However, when searched in the ‘Google‘ search engine, ‘Advertech’ comes up as number one ranking and ‘NGI’ does not. In terms of an external search engine, ‘Advertech’ could potentially have more online traffic because of their position in ‘Google’.

In terms of usability of the websites, one must consider the navigation of the site, linking and taking into account consumers with disabilities. Navigation for both websites are provided with menus which are easy to find and easy to read so that clients or consumers will not be confused. Both websites follow a similar demographic for business and so they need a quick navigation to provide a less time consuming format for clients to search their websites. According to Nielson (2000), there are several types of links for websites. This is crucial as links to products and examples in advertising are useful to an advertising website. There are structural navigation links which are to outline the structure of the information given on the page and linking to subordinate pages. There are associative links to provide additional information to the page or image with an anchorage. ‘Advertech’ has several links, both to information and linking to pages. It also provides examples of work for clients under their ‘Website Portfolio’. They also provide links for images and specific hypertext, which is clearly underlined. ‘NGI’ also exercises the use of additional links to help consumers. They have linked pages and links to their advertising creative. However, they don’t have many examples of associative links to hypertext, which in turn does not break up the page and their layout or support consumer needs.

As websites are becoming more mainstream, usability must be taken into account for users with disabilities. Even though it may not be the demographic, pro-cautions must be made for all consumers, especially with family run businesses, with a range of generations, using the advertising industry. Both websites try to use simplistic language to try and avoid expertise jargon, which may confuse clients, to make the pages accessible and easy to read for all demographics. Both websites also make the menus visible and easy to read however, they both fail to provide any optional services to accommodate customers with specific disabilities. If they were to include this option, they may benefit from a wider range of clients.

In terms of layout, Omanson, Cline and Nordhielm (2001) suggested that a website layout has to have consistency to give the site a memorable identity. “The impact of visual consistency considered here is its effect on customer’s attitude towards products. An interesting result of web shopping on pages with the same look and feel is that customers are repeatedly exposed to the same visual features. Conversely, changes in the look and feel across a page will result in a different pattern of repetition. A rich literature on repetition effects in advertising can therefore inform our theorisation in this area.” Using this as an incentive, when comparing ‘Advertech’ and ‘NGI’ there are several similarities and differences in their layout and design which benefits each site individually. The layout for ‘Advertech’ is simplistic with easy-to-read menu links at the top right hand side of the main webpage and a visual consistency with two main columns down the page. There is an even element for the visual consistency with the use of pictures in each pages of the site, demonstrating the portfolio of work suitable for each section and text to explain it. The colour layout is also simple with a pale background colour and dark text colour to give the website a professional element. The layout for ‘NGI’ is simplistic as it follows a similar pattern to ‘Advertech’. It uses visual consistency with links at the top of the page but uses three columns down the main page for writing. These columns separate specialistic services for clients which adds to its usability effectiveness. It also uses a pale background colour and black text colour but also demonstrates a wider range of colours such as green and grey for the header and sub-menus.

In terms of interactivity, both websites succeed in the use of their different strategies. ‘Advertech’ uses a number of hyperlinks and a unique login for former clients. It also provides a portfolio featuring links to a number of recent advertising campaigns and product labelling for visitors or potential clients to review. However, there are no examples of forums for public discussions or any client reviews about the company which are available on other advertising websites. ‘NGI’ has also used hyperlinks to additional pages or products for visitors to the site. However, it uses a more personal level of interactivity by introducing their team of employees and founders as well as promoting several social media alternatives to involve customers, such as ‘Twitter‘  and ‘Digg‘  for people to follow developments of the website and its services. ‘NGI’ also provides a pricing service for visitors to view to promote a level of trust and honesty to potential clients. Both websites use a different level of interactivity in a professional and personal sense. Both have easy ways for clients to contact the company but providing email addresses and business addresses but neither have a public forum for visitors or client feedback which could help promote and establish their businesses.

In terms of content features, both fail to provide an audio for their website but this could be perceived as a positive strategy in order for visitors to browse the website individually and could be seen as more professional, however both use visual images and video to promote their portfolio. ‘Advertech’ uses a picture changing application for their images to keep the visitor’s interest and they use framed images for consumers to browse. ‘NGI’ uses this application as well but does not have framed images and so this change in the homepage could go unnoticed and consumer’s may not see the full range of their portfolio.

In conclusion, both advertising websites use a number of similar and different strategies in order to interest the consumer. ‘Advertech’ demonstrates an effectiveness in simplistic layout and design and the use of interactivity for clients by using hyperlinks in texts. This shows a level of professionalism from the established website. ‘NGI’ uses several of these strategies as well but also demonstrates the use of personal interactivity and a more colourful, yet simplistic layout to interest visitors. These benefit the sites differently, however both sites fail to provide a search engine to assist customers and both fail to provide a client feedback. These applications could help improve their websites by taking into consideration customer’s needs to help further their businesses.

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