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Comparative Evaluation of websites: Chatham Financial and Idaho office of CIO both deal with aspects of business management advisory services and will be the main reference point relative to the subject of website evaluation.
Over the years gone by, the increased use of the internet serves as an indicator of how this source of information has become to be an important source of information for a majority of the people. Nowadays, it is possible to get various kinds of information from web pages contained in websites owned by various government departments, educational institutions, corporate bodies, non governmental organizations, individuals and even community groups.
However with the increased use of websites as a source of data and information, concerns have been voiced on various issues such as accuracy and reliability of data or information got from websites. These concerns are founded on the fact that nowadays, there has been an increase in incidents in which persons post their own opinions rather than objective information and instances where the information posted on certain websites has been found wanting in terms of accuracy(Destination performance UK,2006,p.1).
Against this back drop, many people often find themselves in states of confusion on how to differentiate what factors they can use to figure out whether the kind of information they retrieved from a website is objective or not (Destination performance UK, 2006, p.3), this paper provides an overview of some of the important indicators people using websites as a source of information can look at as pointers to making their own assessment or evaluation.
Considering the two websites mentioned earlier on, various indicators will be used for the comparative evaluation of the two websites. This indicators include the following; efficiency, relevance, timeliness, reliability, authenticity, objectivity and authority. (Indicators adapted from Eduscape.com, 2011 Para 6-12).Looking at the first indicator, authority, both websites are published by the persons responsible for running them (Chatham financial and the Idaho Office of the Chief Information Officer respectively. Since the publishers are responsible for the developing the websites contents, the authority can be said to be credible (Chatham financial official website, 2011 and Idaho office of CIO official website, 2011).
Turning to a different indicator; efficiency, both websites have a consistent flow of information which in part includes a description on what the two institutions do in respect to business advisory services. Notably, the main information search tools for Chatham financial website are uppermost part of the homepage of their website whereas similar tools on the Idaho office of CIO website are located on the same position.Additionally; there is a drop down menu on the top left and right part of the home page (Chatham financial official website, 2011 and Idaho office of CIO official website, 2011).
The designs of the search tools in the website are easy to use and conveniently placed. The efficiency of these tools in communicating and retrieval of information is overall good (Chatham financial official website, 2011 and Idaho office of CIO official website, 2011).
Regarding the other important evaluation criteria like timeliness, it is impressive to note that in both websites, there is little to point out in terms of scheduled actitiviteies.there is a brief mention of great heritage in provision of quality advisory services on the Chatham financial website and the recommended hours for communication either by e-Mail or calling on the Idaho office of CIO website. So any visitor who makes a quick preview of these two websites will only be able to gather this kind of information only. Further more; the authenticity of the information appearing on the two websites is high based on the fact that these are the official websites for Chatham financial and Idaho office of CIO. (Chatham financial official website, 2011 and Idaho office of CIO official website, 2011).
Additionally, all the important links relating to the two institutions appear in their websites making the information and data posted on their websites to be reliable. Finally, considering that the two websites refer to an established financial institution (Chatham financial with a rich heritage) and a government Institution (Idaho office of CIO) there is enough reason to believe that the kind of information appearing on these websites is objective. (Chatham financial official website, 2011 and Idaho office of CIO official website, 2011).
It is interesting to note that of the two websites, only Chatham has made of use of graphic images to create and impressive look, the graphic combination in this website provides an avenue for meaningful engagement with the visitors to the website in terms of sustaining attention. A notable difference is that on Idaho office of CIO official website, colours have been used to attract the visitor.Again, note that that the Chatham financial websites is linked to social media such as blogs, linked in, you tube, twitter and face book whereas Idaho office of CIO official website is not linked to such media.
The emergence of the internet has proved to be an important source of information that is fast and convenient for many. With this development over the years, concerns have been raised pertaining to various aspects such as authority, reliability, efficiency, relevance, timeliness, authenticity and objectivity of the information of data or information available from different websites. It is possible to look carefully at these aspects and be able to come up with a conclusive evaluation or assessment about the suitability and possible use of information availed in particular website. The two websites discussed in this paper have proven to be reliable sources of information relative to the following indicators; authority, reliability, efficiency, relevance, timeliness, authenticity and objectivity.