(weekly reviews of special-interest sites)


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Currently my weekly newsletter, eNetDigest, is a labor of love (which keeps me away from Voyager, TNG and 3rd Rock from the Sun). Distributed via e-mail, eNetDigest is a weekly newsletter which provides reviews of environmental, agricultural and natural resources web sites. Reviews focus on both content and design.

When I visit sites with an eye towards mention in eNetDigest, top of mind is "How well does this site communicate its vision, its content." My personal bias is grounded in putting the "customer" ... that is, the person who logs into a site ... first. So I wonder, "Who's going to visit and why?"

I operate from the premise that a person who visits an environmental site has different set of needs (demand) than that same person has when visiting an online vendor (books, CDs, Coke, FedX, MacWorld, PC Connection -- you get my drift.) We want high tech companies to have jazzy sites -- it's part of their image. We want content sites to use illustrations to augment our understanding, not paralyze us while mega-byte-sized files download. (Cable and T1 delivery into everyday homes just ain't here yet.)

Traditional economics (and Mr. Ford) said, "a car is a car is a car" (a web site is a web site is a web site). That is, consumers would have the same demand for a new black Porche as a new lime green Suzuki. We know this assumption is false (for most people, anyway). Our wants/needs/desires change with circumstances. I believe the same is true for web sites.


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Copyright Kathy E. Gill, 1996 and 1997. Comments? keg@dotparagon.com

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