My favorite websites are the Valley of the Shadow, The Emilie Davis Diaries, and the Mapping of the Republic of Letters. I liked each of these websites for different reasons, specifically their intuitive navigation and ease to use.
The Valley of the Shadow website is laid out in three distinct periods, which makes it easy for the user to find something that they’re specifically looking for or be able to contextualize what they are learning through the website.
This website is a bit ineffective due to the ancient web style format. The formatting of the text is a bit weak due to the basic structure of each of the informational pages. Although the ability to navigate the website is quite intuitive and easy, it’s quite poor according to modern standards with the lack of buttons that allow the user to simply redirect themselves back to the page that they were previously using.
The website is effectively leveraging technology as it lays out the information for the general public to access. There are no paywalls or log-in memberships necessary in order to access the information. The use of animations, however rudimentary, allows for people to visualize things going on. On the other hand, the website doesn’t effectively leverage modern technology as there’s a strong lack of graphs or other forms of information that would require number crunching from a workstation. This criticism is unfair due to the age of the website.
The Emilie Davis Diaries website was quite easy to use as well because of the simple lay out. It’s really easy and intuitive to use. The pages were quite easy to navigate as well. Each page is an excerpt of her diary, which is conveniently located on the same page in its original text, and has annotations in order to give further context.
The website is a bit ineffective due to how bare it is. While understanding that it is a website about her diary entries, the basic layout of the information makes the entire website a bit dull.
Similarly to the Valley of the Shadow website, this website uses technology particularly well by laying out the information necessary to any individual who would like to access it, without any clutter. The criticisms are similar to the Valley of the Shadow website as well.
These two websites almost feel like clear analogs of traditional resources. They provide little, to marginal, visualization of information and harness very little technology to do so.
Finally, my favorite of all of the websites was the “Mapping the Republic of Letters” website. I felt that this website was the most complete due to the clean presentation, easy accessibility and user experience and the sheer amount of technical information available on this website. This website expertly leverages technology in order to show the associations that these famous individuals had with one another and allow us to see and understand the impact that they had on others lives. For example, for certain individuals such as Benjamin Franklin, you have the ability to see the widespread impact that their letters had using the visualization button that can be seen below.
This website digitizes traditional resources and harnesses digital technology to visualize and understand the impacts of certain individuals in history.