Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Review: Ebay.com (Grade B-)

Ebay. Most people have heard about it, or used it. It definitely qualifies as a Useful site. They supply an excellent service to consumers by having such a well used auction site. People are able to use the service to sell, buy, or just browse around. They have several payment options, and decent listing and commission fees.

The company, Ebay.com, offers its visitors a huge assortment of products that they can purchase online. However, I found that Ebay may need to do a little upgrading on their website practices if they want to have even more customers.

Here's the grade and the reasons why.

WEBSITE GRADE FOR: Ebay.com


A = USEFUL CONTENT (4cr)
B = APPEALING DESIGN (3cr) (The layout is a bit too colorful in some places, and I would like to see a bit more refinement in their general layout.)
B = EASE OF NAVIGATION (3cr) (Moderately easy to navigate. However, it tends to vary by category section, and people like pages that feel the same so they know where to click.)
C = VALID CODE SYNTAX (2cr) (Upon running a validation check on the HTML behind this website, View Validator Well, finding 159 errors on a the main page of website is not so great. Their subpages are not coded much better. I've seen worse, but I definitely would like to see the code cleaned up and some better technologies used.)
F = DISABILITY AND BROWSER ACCESS (2cr) (Upon running a validation check on the HTML behind this website, View this Validator, it came up with many many more problems that should be fixed. There were 97 unset image command tags on the main page, and most did not have their proper alt text. That is not conforming to Disability Access standards (WAI), and it slows down page loading time. This site is another that was obviously designed only for people using Windows and Internet Explorer also, because there are no fonts used that are compatible with Mac OS, and the webpage has multiple errors for Netscape and Opera browsers. However, it also caused errors in the most current version of Internet Explorer, so I may reconsider and say that it is just poor coding in general.)
A = FINDABILITY (3cr) (Excellent. No meta tag errors. But then, most people know about eBay anyway.)
C = FRUSTRATION LEVEL (3cr) (There were two broken links, and the site would take approximately 21.6 seconds to load over a 28.8 kbps network connection. That is about 10 seconds too long, and its also assuming that the users browser doesn't lock up over the two HTML parse coding errors, and the unclosed code tags on the page. Again, I suggest fixing the code and marking up the images properly so that the page displays faster. The HTML code alone takes up 41.2k, which could be compressed to 38.3k (saving 7% of the page size and increasing speed. Every little bit counts when you are in business on the web.)




Total Possible Credits = 20 Total Possible GPA = 4.0
Total Quality Points Given = 56

Total Website GPA = 2.8 (B-)

~Review conducted by WebsiteStyle.com~

1 comment:

Tom said...

You have to keep in mind that not everyone is an interent or web guru like yourself, to the average person eBay seems to be flawless and easy. If you have trouble with anything all you need to do is type the topic in the help section... I agree that it is often to colorful and also they change the layout to often - they should be more consistant with search / profile interfaces - but really dont be so quick to crticize them; to the average person they really do a good job.