Ducks Unlimited is a North American non-profit organization that conserves wetlands and associated habitats for waterfowl, other wildlife and people. Ducks Unlimited was formed during the Great Depression when a group of conservation-minded waterfowlers saw a decrease in waterfowl populations. As an employee of Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC), I have a strong understanding of the company, and I will be analyzing the site of DUC’s sister organization – Ducks Unlimited Inc. (DUI).
DUI’s primary audience is its supporters, which includes members and volunteers who already donate. In the U.S., these supporters are mainly waterfowl hunters and people who have an invested interest in wetlands, waterfowl and other wildlife. DUI’s secondary audience is future supporters and those who may wish to donate to the cause.
There are multiple purposes of this site, but the main purpose is to directly educate or influence the two main audiences. The main visual focus on the home page is a flash image, which changes when the site is refreshed. The first image says, “Duck Fever: Raise money for the ducks and your local chapter.” Duck Fever is DUI’s main marketing campaign to garner financial support. Throughout the home page there is a strong donation-driven focus that encourages current and future supporters to help DUI with monetary contributions. When it comes to educating its users, the site offers a variety of hunting tips and resources including: videos, information about DUI’s conservation work, waterfowl 101, and current news items.
DUI’s vision is, “…wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever.” The site’s main focus stays true to DUI’s vision; protecting important waterfowl habitat so waterfowl populations will be in abundance. This is shown in its waterfowl-focused content and images.
The navigation structure of the site is broken into blocks and is very clear. Being broken up this way makes it easy to see the different sections instead of everything blending together without clear dividers. The only criticism would be that there seems to be a great deal of links, which could cause viewers to feel overwhelmed by the options. The navigation bar banner and the side navigation bar are strongly apparent on each page making it easy to go back and forth between pages. The back-to-home button sits under the Ducks Unlimited logo in the top left-hand corner of the page, but it does not stand out. It should be more prominent on the page or highlighted better so the user can see how to get back to the home page from any page within the site.
The site does include the basic document elements of who, what, when and where and these elements are very helpful. Having current news releases and content that is dated helps the site remain relevant and the user gets the sense that the website is updated regularly and that the content is fairly timely. The “Contact Us” link is also...