In order to better familiarize myself with websites built by Omeka, for Adventures in Digital History I decided to review two websites built by this platform. To do this I utilized the Omeka Classic User Manual which is designed to educate students on how to navigate and read through Omeka Classic websites. The first website that I explored for this course was Histories of the National Mall and the second was Goin’ North.
The website dedicated to the history of the National Mall was easy to navigate and the organization of the information made it easy to digest. I really liked the way in which the homepage is designed. In my opinion, the design of the homepage is essential to creating a good website. The color scheme is eye-catching and the site logo is really impressive. Additionally, the design of the front page is really clear as to what this website has to offer. Under the “Discover” section there are four main sections for visitors of the website to choose from. The first one is the “Map” section, which is really well done. This map is a modern-day map of the National Mall with over 300 map pins marking various events in history. It is easy to navigate and when one wants to learn more about an event they just need to click the map pin to explore the information. When the user is done it very easy to return to the map page. When a person is done using the map page it easy to go to the next sections of the website. The next three sections of the website are titled “Explorations”, “People,” and “Past Events.” I really liked how each section of the website had a different layout, which helps to keep a person’s interest in the website. In terms of my own use of Omeka, I really liked the theme that this person used and the interactive map feature. I can definitely see my own group using a theme like this to organize and present information about James Farmer.
Compared to the first website Goin’ North is more simplistic in design, however, it still does a great job in educating users about the First Great Migration of African-Americans to Philadelphia. On the main page, they offer a brief description of the Great Migration which helps familiarize users with this topic. The site then goes to explain where they got the oral histories that are featured on this site. Additionally, the designers tell the users about the awards that this project has received. By including it lets users know that this is a credible site with information sponsored by the Oral History Association and the American Historical Association. Moving away from the homepage, there are three main sections that a person can navigate to get information about this topic. In the “Biographies” section, there are twenty-six different biographies of African-Americans who migrated north during this time period. The next section of this website features “Oral History Interviews”. This section is also very easy to navigate. When a user comes across an interview that they would like to listen to all they have to do is select the person’s image and they are then taken to audio stored on this site. The last section of this website is titled “Stories.” The design of this section is very similar to that of the “Exploration” section on the National Mall site. While I feel as though this website’s design is bland compared to the first one this website is still incredibly useful. I can definitely see my group having sections on our website similar to the ones featured on this site, especially since we have access to various footage and audio related to James Farmer.