Browsers & Website Survey: Noticing the difference

posted by: Mr. Bergquist 1 November 2011 No Comment

(Worth 10 Classwork Points)
We are moving into designing Webpages and we need to start looking at the websites we use a little more critically.  But first, we will take a look at the different Browsers we can use to view these websites.  We need to be familiar with them and how they all work – some websites and web applications work better in certain browsers so we should be familiar with these three major one’s (on a PC):

  • Internet Explorer (by Microsoft)
  • Firefox (by Mozilla, open source)
  • Chrome (by Google)

- Sorry SPS no longer supports Chrome, limiting the first part below, do your best but don’t spend too much time on part I. Sampling Browsers.

In order to design effective websites, you must be familiar with the current state of the art. To do that, I would like you to spend some time online researching websites and making a critical analysis of them.  While you do this, try some of the sites out in each of the different Browsers and note any differences you find.  I also want you to get comfortable using them all because we will want to make sure the WebPages we create look good in all of them.

Create a Word document (saved in our class period folder), write this down on paper, or use this worksheet

The purpose of this assignment is two-fold:

  1. To give you some practice in critical evaluation of websites.
  2. To give me an idea of what websites you find interesting, useful, and well-designed, as well as the opposite.

The Assignment

I. Sampling Browsers
Test Drive the three major web browsers on our classroom computers:

  • Internet Explorer (by Microsoft)
  • Firefox (by Mozilla, open source)
  • Chrome (by Google) - Sorry SPS no longer supports Chrome, limiting the first part below, do your best but don’t spend too much time on part I. Sampling Browsers.

There are strengths and weaknesses of each of them.
Find these three different Browsers on the Computer – you may need look carefully for Chrome, if you cannot find it, ask your neighbor or if they need help to, check with Mr. Bergquist.  Try out each browser looking at some of your favorite websites (like www.garfieldcs.com) in each and see how to use their features.  Start with these basic features most all browsers have:

  • Opening Multiple Tabs
  • Saving Bookmarks
  • Viewing your History
  • Search – can you select different search engine to use?
  • Change your personal settings

After you have worked with each, answer these questions:
(note: you may want to wait till after you have viewed several sites in part II. Websites Survey below before finishing this)
A. Strengths of each Browser.  For each of the three browsers, write down what you thought it did very well.
B. Weaknesses of each Browser.  For each of the three browsers, write down what features you thought were hardest to use in it.
C. Which Browser you liked the best?  And clarify (using your observations above) why you found it the best.
D. Did you find any websites that looked very different in one Browser versus another?  If so, save a sample webpage URL (the path) to share with our class.

II. Website Survey
(with thanks to Mr Davidson of Roosevelt HS for these suggestions)

In order to design effective websites, you must be familiar with the current state of the art. To do that, I would like you to spend some time online researching websites and making a critical analysis of them. Choose one of the following categories (or propose another):

  • Entertainment
  • Education
  • Information
  • Commerce
  • Social Media
  • Government
  • Personal

Thoroughly explore at least a eight websites you can find in that category. Keep notes on each site you visit, documenting what you find and why you think that site is good or bad. Support your opinion with concrete observations. When you have finished that survey, identify three sites that you think are really good examples of web design, and three that are really bad.  While you are exploring, try using the three different Browsers and see if you find any differences in the way they display these websites.

Write a short report summarizing your findings. Your report must include the following information:
A. Your Site category
B. List of three good sites, with the following for each:

  1. Site name
  2. Site URL
  3. Summary of your analysis (why is it good?)
  4. Reasons supporting this opinion

C. List of three bad sites, with the following for each:

  1. Site name
  2. Site URL
  3. Summary of your analysis (why is it bad?) with reasons supporting this opinion

 


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