»Lower East Side Tenement Museum

Assessment

Overall this website is like a 1987 Chevy Astro van. It is not modern, it is not sexy, occasionally it breaks down, but ultimately it will get you where you want to go...you might even learn a few things along the way. The purpose of the site is great. It attempts to provide many important historical lessons in an interesting and personal way. It makes this unique experience available to millions around the world rather than just to those who find themselves on New York's lower eastside. Its lessons are conveyed without preaching and its information is generally accessible and fun. The designers of the site do a nice job of incorporating multiple forms of media to provide a fairly pleasant and fairly thorough experience. QuickTime and Real Player are good choices for the presentations that the designer wanted to achieve, as they are both widely distributed and simple to use. Flash would have been a better choice because it would have enabled audio and pictorial/video presentations to be combined. With a dial-up connection, multimedia presentations are painstakingly slow and there were times when I would have happily traded some of functionality for simple jpgs. One of the audio tour links reported that it was 'outdated or inaccurate'. The tour homepage is an unusual juxtaposition of contemporary color elements with black and white photographs. The pages are ugly, many of the images are obscure, and the layout is atrocious. On a technical note, the code is outdated, and perhaps the biggest technical failing is that a significant amount of content is missed if the user does not select the 'show hotspots' feature in QuickTime. I believe that the average web-user would neglect doing this and therefore miss many of the details provided. The topic is worthy and ideally suited to a web application with updated code, multimedia, layout, and tone, the site could provide a superb experience for viewers.

According to Google, 47 pages link to this site, although only eight of them are unique external sites.

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