Raajjé.mv – A Website Review

With much fan fare, Raajjé.mv was launched to the public tonight by former President, Mohamed Nasheed at Nasandhura Palace Hotel.

This article is a review of the website Raajjé.mv. It is in no way a comment on the content of the website or its editorial policy.

HOMEPAGE

Poorly designed and badly implemented!

Designing a user interface for a Dhivehi language website, is not an easy task. Mainly because Dhivehi fonts are really difficult to work with when creating layouts. But the work is done nicely here although there is room for much improvement.

The header of the site is boring with a horrible design. The logo of the site in my opinion should be of the same design elements as that of the RaajjéTV as it is the parent of this website as well.

I also do not understand why this site should be in Raajjé.mv domain, when they clearly own much more appropriate Raajjé.tv domain. But that’s another story altogether.

The main site navigation bar allows for easy access to the sites contents. But the design of the navigation bar itself could have been much better.

Featured articles and recent stories widget looks nice but basic. The widget area is divided into 3 sections, with the right section having a large featured article with picture. 4 other articles are presented in the middle section. The left section appears to be dedicated for possible advertising space. Again, much room for improvement.

In the left column under the featured widget is a sidebar widget for “Recent / Important” articles. The widget design is nicely done. Recent articles is pretty straight forward, but there are many unanswered questions regarding the “important” articles in this widget.

How does the website decide which is an important article? Instead of important, wouldn’t it have been more appropriate with an industry standard “popular” articles instead of “important” articles? Wouldn’t it have made more sense that way?

An articles’ popularity could be decided by having a simple recommendation functionality inserted into the individual article pages. Facebook plugins like the “Like” button could have been used to generate the popular articles via a it’s recommendation functionality.

Alternatively a native system could also have been developed with a star or numbers based rating system that users/readers could use to vote up the articles as popular.

This lack of transparency for “important” articles in the website is much disappointing.

The footer of the website lacks many of the expected standards in a modern website. The footer only consists of a “go up” button that takes the reader back to the top of the page.

It is now standard that online news services provide details of who they are, how to contact them, terms of use, privacy policy and other basic information regarding the site. Non of these are there in Raajjé.mv.

The homepage also lacks a widget or a space for users to find Raajjé.mv on other services like Facebook or twitter or YouTube.

All in all, its poorly designed and badly implemented!

 

NEWS ARTICLES

News articles in the website is presented very well with excellent Dhivehi typeface.

Dhivehi language being a font that requires larger size than your usual 11 points, the articles in this website are presented well with great readability in a larger font size.

Unfortunately, the site lacks any form of reader interaction function to the stories published. The most glaring and unforgivable omission is the lack of comments function.

Another noticeable omission is the sites social functions. Non of the articles can be liked or tweeted or shared directly from the article page.

This omission greatly reduces the sites ability for articles to be shared on popular social networks like Facebook or Twitter. Article published on this site basically has absolutely zero chance of going viral on the social networks in an organic manner.

While the site looks pretty clean, there are no allocated (at least not visible) advertising spaces on the website. The service might be well funded at the moment, but it is important to give features for the site to generate revenue on its own and advertising is the current industry standard for news/publishing websites. The site lacks this. The site also lacks a page with information if one does want to advertise in the website.

 

USER INTERACTION

User Generated Content (UGC) like comments on articles is a great draw for a news website. Even after a reader has read an article, it is well known that readers tend to return to the page to monitor comments on stories that users feel an attachment to.

Before this service can be provided, I would recommend, the site enable functionality for users to sign up on the website an create user profiles for commenting. To avoid anonymous or spammy profiles, sign up process to be linked to couple of the popular identity services in the web like Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

Local news website Haveeru has a basic setup similar to this. But the function could be expanded to allow users to follow other users because of their comments and engagement on the site.

Gamification or giving medals and points for comments, approving comments or disliking comments, ranking comments could all be function s to retain users and create engagement between users, greatly reducing the bounce rate in the site and increasing time spent on the site by users.

Right now is site is a great disappointment I regards to form, functionality and design.

I would give the site;

1. Design – 4/10
2. Functionality – 2/10

 

RAAJJE.MV LIVE SITE

http://Raajje.mv

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