By Julian Virgona (Year 9)
I was asked to review the renovations of the Inside a Dog website created by the State Library of Victoria. So does the website have enough potential to be a viral sensation or a viral blunder? Let’s find out.
I’m going to start with the pros of the website, and let me tell you, it’s a good one. When I first entered the website, the first thing I noticed was the background. It has a beautiful style to it. The red background is very eye catching and the large ‘Inside a Dog’ logo is strategically placed on the left side of the page, where the eye is first drawn. The site is set out very nicely, especially the homepage. I really like the look of the scrolling books that lead to reviews, opinions and summaries of the book you click on. I especially like the ‘Around the Site’ news section, which looks like a ripped notebook page.
The overall style of the homepage is magnificent. I really like the splattered black bits in some places, for example, at the bottom and top of the page. The writing is easy to read in both font and colour and the articles are well written and interesting. The website appeals to the young adult audience, which seems to be what the site is aiming to attract.
The forum and ‘Book Clubs’ are a very nice addition to the website, as they encourage people to join, discuss books and revisit regularly, rather than just visit once or twice to check out how the site looks. The topics look quite fascinating, even though I wasn’t able access the threads to read them. The fact that members of the website review the books is a great feature as it provides more than just one opinion. It can provide an entire forum’s opinion!
In terms of navigation, the entire website is pure gold. The tabs that appear when you access a page away from the home page look really good and are a very nice idea to make the site easier to navigate. The search engine is great as it comes up with the results you’re actually looking for, unlike other search engines I have experienced. I especially like how there is a search engine specifically for books and the blogs, such as the ‘View by Month’ categories, which make finding blog posts so much easier.
I couldn’t find much of the website I didn’t actually like. The quote about reading inside a dog really defines the website and its name.
The one thing I thought was missing from the website was a page or at least bigger paragraph on what the website is all about, what the State Library of Victoria is all about, what you can do on the website and what some pages are about. All there is available is a tiny paragraph talking about one or two things you can do and I think the site would benefit greatly from a page devoted to what you can do in this amazing webspage.
Overall, the new ‘Inside a Dog’ website is really well done. It looks magnificent and navigates really well. There are some great ideas on this site, and would definitely bring member coming back for more to review books or to take part in the engaging forum threads.
But if you want to see what the website is like for yourself, check out http://www.insideadog.com.au/