The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
(Sounds like a good title for a Western)
This is the official website for the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. The page loaded quickly but then again I have DSL. Perhaps if I still had dialup the pictures would be painfully slow in loading. However, the picture quality is crisp and I thought the image on the index page was exceptional. The site is easy to navigate with no apparent mystery meat. The background and text color are quite compatible and easy to read. This site is quite authoritative on the subject matter of the island and the museum. It melds both good design and good content. I actually believe I utilized this site's resources when I wrote my paper.
This site is found on the teachers area of the Scholastic book website. It provides a section with text, audio, video, and images of Ellis Island. Brief historical information is provided at the bottom of each page. The site allows you to "jump" to different parts of the building. The pages are relatively uncluttered and easy to read. The multimedia features provide additional methods of accessing the information--it is possible to listen to recordings of interviews with Ellis Island immigrants. It's a good bet that the site contains authoritative and reliable information because it is used as a teaching resource. It consists of good design and good content.
This is the website for the American Family Immigration History Center that provides invaluable information and the ability to research your family history. I have previously used the site's resources to view the actual manifests of the ship on which my grandmother & great-grandmother sailed to America on. Seeing such documents is very interesting and borders on awe-inspiring. With that said, I feel the sight may border between good and bad for it could use some redesign. I feel that the main page is a bit cluttered. There are links scattered all over which make it hard to focus on one area. However, the design does improve after the first page. This is an authoritative site that has good content but could use better design.
This is the website of the Fourth Grade Ellis Island Journal Project. Before you get upset, I know it's for a fourth grade class project but I'll still critique it. First of all it does have some good qualities namely the B&W photo at the top and the list of resources. The white background is uninspired, the small black text is pedestrian, and the flickering torches are just plain annoying. It also involves a bit too much scrolling.
Here is a perfect textbook example of what not to do when presenting information online. Don't just paste your entire paper into one long unbroken page. I imagine it has good content but I didn't really read it. The design leaves much to be desired and the index page has two pictures but no text or links. Perhaps it would work better in a newer version of Netscape or IE. I'm sure this site is authoritative although no names are mentioned anywhere including the web master's.
This site appears to be under construction but already needs help. None of the pictures really go together. The styles of the pictures are too different and do not read well as a unit. One of the pictures doesn't even load up. The song playing in the background is a nice touch but may slow load time. The "Virtual Tour" is a good idea and probably has good but is not very aesthetically pleasing.
To be honest, I haven't found any Ellis Island site that is truly wretched...yet.
In the mean time you can click here.
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