17 November 2006

Web Tracking Analysis

When the word money is spoken, residents of Texas will eventually correlate it with oil. Big money, big oil--- Hey, in Texas we do everything big. When researching websites for this blog, I finally decided to track two different oil companies. Thus far with my advertising “experience” I have done fun and very creative work, so I thought it would be interesting to research and critique a much more formal and business approach. The two companies are Oil and Gas Managing Partners (OGMPC) and Western Pipeline Corporation (WP Corp). Both are market leaders and both utilize very different approaches in their industry.

When comparing the two website the differences were astounding. I can easily say that I was much more impressed with OGMPC’s competitor WP Corp’s website. After learning about and implementing the CRAP principle it was extremely easy to delegate the small changes and minor details that OGMPC should improve.

Organization: The information on OGMPC’s site was indeed well organized. Important links were easy to find and significant information was even boxed off or placed into charts. The element of alignment was used effectively providing an extra sense of neatness and crisp borders for sophistication. I’m not sure if it is the use of color, proximity, or alignment but WP Corp’s website gives off the allusion of being much more organized.

Presentation: OGMPC’s site is very dull and boring. There are no colors or images to spice up the site. Not one thing on any of the links immediately catches the users’ eye. However, I will give them credit for the repetition of their image/theme as well as their creative slogan. The theme, colors, fonts, and styles are repeated throughout this site, even if they are incredibly boring and suggest that this site is strictly about business. The white space on each page could have been used more diligently. When viewing the pages it just seems as if there could have been more information placed into the document, and done so in a way that is pleasing to the eye. The appearance of OGMPC’s new site is very similar to that of its older site--- still very poorly put together. However, the new site does utilize the CRAP principles much more efficiently, thus offering a much more sophisticated and professional setup. WP Corp’s site on the other hand appears very professional as soon as your browser opens the page. The intro is very simple and elegant, encompassing no flashing graphics or gaudy music. This intro sets the tone for the rest of the site, which I was very impressed by.

Navigation: The navigation for the OGMPC site is fairly easy to use and very similar to the WP Corp’s site. When a user clicks on a link in order to view outside information or information from another source, an additional window appears on the screen. This benefits the user because they do not have to encounter the repetition of the back button in order to return to the original website. OGMPC officially introduced their new website two weeks ago. (This site was the initial site Matt told me to visit five weeks ago.) The site is still under much needed construction. The majority of the links do not work, but when you do finally align your cursor exactly on the link, an under construction notification appears. When you Google the company, the new website is the link that you will find. OGMPC needs to put the link of the old site somewhere on the new one so users can indeed locate specific information until the new site is completely up and running.

Change: While the changes on the OGMPC site are very boring and dull to a creative advertising major like myself, they do serve their intended purpose. Investors, manufactures, and partners within the oil industry really only care about these numbers, because these numbers to them mean dollar signs (whether those dollars are going into or coming out of their wallets is a different story). The numbers need to be easily accessible and updated accurately and timely. This provides the opportunity for those individuals who need to view the numbers to access the site, gather their information, and log out in a timely fashion, very similar to as if they were checking their stocks. The stories and information on the website can stay the same for several reasons:

1. They aren’t the most important aspects of information on the site
2. Consistency in the site allows users to quickly access the information they need, while skipping over less important information
3. Much of the information provided doesn’t actually change
4. Numbers are the primary way these companies acquire new customers

The importance of consistency is prevalent when viewing OGMPC’s competitor’s site as well. WP Corp did not change their site once in the past five weeks, thus suggesting that they do not actually obtain new business from their website. The sites seem to just exist for background information, credibility, and contact information.

So, maybe the lack of color and pizzazz is a negative aspect for OGMPC. Even if a company wants to be viewed as all about the business, their website should still be a little more impressive than that of OGMPC. When considering the revenues of this company, potential clients may expect to be a little more impressed with they visit the website. By correcting a few CRAP elements this site could improve significantly, thus providing potential and future investors with a much more positive first impression.

1 Comments:

Blogger jacqueline said...

Megan,

Thanks for the pictures from the walk--I hope the blisters are gone!

Wow, your report is well done, well written, and well reasoned. Your friend should listen to your suggestions about the more boring of the two sites. I think even in a "serious" industry like energy, there are possibilities for making things more interesting, as you have found with your comparison site.

Grade: 100 (one of the strongest reports that I've read; all questions answered, weekly reports included, beginning report, good content)

7:56 PM

 

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