In order to better familiarize ourselves with websites built by the platform Omeka, Adventures in Digital History (shortened to ADH from here on out) was tasked with reviewing two websites of our choice.

Omeka Site: Histories of the National Mall

The website dedicated to the Histories of the National Mall was immensely easy to navigate. The front page is really clear on what the entire website has to over, separating into four broad categories for visitors of the website to follow (maps, explorations, people, and past events.) Within those categories the website breaks down even further, creating a unique, organized, and visually appealing website to look through. Each tab used a different layout, which can help further draw people in and not get bored with repetition. It also has the added bonus of immediately knowing that you have gone to a different part of the site. The use of color in the website adds to the overall appeal, it is not all white so as to be dull, but is also not made up of super eye-catching or distracting colors to distract from the content of the website. In terms of my own use, I think the map tab the creators made could be something my own group on the Buildings of UMW would find useful for our project.

Omeka Site: Ice Age Flood Explorer

Initially, the Ice Age Flood Explorer website is a little confusing. The home page opens to a map and featured stories, but besides the title of the website, it does necessarily explain what the website is trying to accomplish (granted, the Histories of the National Mall website does not do that either, but that website is a bit more self-explanatory then this one.) However, the menu tab is easy to spot, and the about page is clear on the purpose of the website. (Dedicated to student research on the Missoula Floods from the geology department of Eastern Washington University.) The map is interactive, allowing readers to follow the links to different stories that students have written about that area, or you can follow the stories tab and look for entertaining blog headlines that catch your eye instead. (I particularly liked Not All Buttes are the Same.) I did not find this website as clear to navigate as Histories of the National Mall. However, as I was looking around the website, I realized that Ice Age Flood Explorer seems to be meant for a more specific audience then Histories of the National Mall is, therefore the layout is very different. This is something important to keep in mind when my group decides on how to create the layout for our own website.

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