Bay Mercury: A Competitive Analysis

One of the reasons I wanted to start the blog (again) is to document my projects from the beginning to end. I was inspired to do so after going to developer mixer and fellow developer encouraged me to not only follow the step-by-step process but also document it in a blog.

For this post, I want to do a competitive analysis of the different products in the sector. Doing this allows me to see which products are out there and it’s strengths and area of weakness. By doing this, I understand the competition, identify best practices, and expand possibilities.

The project that I am working on is called Bay Mercury. Believe it or not, I was actually assigned to do a research project in my Oceanography and since the project can be done in any art form, I decided to utilize my web development skills. For this project, I hope to create a website that tells a story on mercury polluting the San Francisco Bay. In this project, I hope to tell a story to the user the problems of mercury in the bay and also how they can help out the situation. My audiences include students, teachers, citizens, and big corporations so I need to base my design decisions on all of them.

Anyways back to the competitive analysis, I did some research on the web looking for similar sites and I found a great site to explore, Save The Bay. I felt Save the Bay was a good website to analyze because it does a great job of informing the viewers with a great call to action button.

Home page screenshot Save the Bay homepage

Strengths:

  • Relatively mobile-friendly. Text can be a little bit too small
  • Good call to action to donate/give back
  • Clear navigation hierarchy. Can access majority of website in a few clicks
  • Lots of big pictures.
  • Has information for a variety of audiences
  • Gives a lot of information on contacts
  • Tasteful graphics that is somewhat relevant

Weaknesses:

  • Image slider is not good
  • Gives information on contacts but not how to use it
  • Aside from the logo, can’t easily get a summary of site
  • The website is cluttered with stories and elements. Could use more padding.

Conclusion
After reviewing Save the Bay, I now have a bigger idea of what I want with my project. Obviously, I want to emulate the good things while minimizing the weaknesses in my project. An example would be that I want the Bay Mercury website to be very picture driven. I learned through Save the Bay that it’s message very powerful and visual and I believe it is credited to the visual pictures. An example that I want to do better is doing a better job explaining the whole situation. Sometimes with the website (especially the nature of its design) I got lost multiple times. I want my website to be very intuitive.

 

Thomas Nguyen

 

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