Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Credibility: Titanic Disaster Website

The website, Titanic Disaster: Official Casualty Figures and Commentary, was under review as directed by the instructions of the course outline. The main page of reference is the Titanic Casualty Figures page.I'm evaluating it to gain an understanding of how credibility in web design is an essential feature to have in mind when building websites.

The website overall seems complete, with no obvious construction going on. The title of the page is Titanic Casualty Figures. The website is copyrighted for 1997 with no date of mention of updates. An audience would most likely be people interested in learning a
bout the Titanic and perhaps history enthusiasts. Anesi cites authorities somewhat, but most links are out of
Some are functional, others have become redirects. The links do not support his content, only provide areas of reference or offer new information not presented in his content. Others are commercial websites relevant to the topic.

The creator, Chuck Anesi, gives no mention of his credentials or authority on the matter. The only method of contact is the email address, charlesanesi@cox.net, listed on the home page. The website is void of any affiliations or associations. Additionally, no sponsorship is mentioned. The domain is listed as the creator's l
ast name and a .com ending, signifying commercial interests.
However, the page appears to be intended to be informative and claims it's an "official" reference for the topic. A user can reference the homepage at the bottom on almost every page. The author makes use of infographics and mentions some sources. He cites Lord Mercy's Report and details it as well as referencing the Telegraph Office website, which is non-functional.

The website is overall unprofessional-looking and very "primitive" in the sense of the Internet e
volution. The page uses bold text throughout and has a very simple, poor layout. The author uses slang and there are a few spelling errors throughout the text. It seems too personal, as if it's mostly an interpretation of the facts he's come across.

The formatting of the text seems as if it was the most convenient thing for him at the time. There are no headlines, except the Lord Mersey's Report, and the divide separating it has an unclear purpose. No uniform navigation exists, unless the footer w
ith the homepage counts. The infographics are functional, serving solely as a point of reference to his content. I was directed to this website by a link on the course website. Searching by the name of the page brought it up instantly.

The main website is separated into different categories that have personalized names. They actually reduce the credibility of the page. Overall, the website is not uniform. Pages look differently, and there's no sense of unity that ties them together. The source code reveals some useful meta tags that indicate the purpose of the website. It's all written in plain HTML with little formatting and no CSS style sheet.

Overall, the website had poor credibility. It seems very premature, and the publisher probably hasn't updated it in a few years. The last copyright date was 2008. I think it would be best to provide some useful links that enhance the credibility of the author throughout the website. Also, some citing of his sources of information would be greatly useful to a reader who wants to use the website as a point of reference for any applied or basic research opportunities. A navigation would make his website appear more modern. This website has a lot of room for improvement, and I probably would not use this website upon first glance at it.

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