Lighthouse International is a website for a non-profit organization dedicated to providing information and services on various types of vision related problems. It was founded in New York in 1905 and was one of the first institutions of its time that offered vision rehabilitation services. Throughout the century, it increased its functions and extended its services globally. It began with a goal to prevent blindness and evolved into a mission to assist those with a vision issues to function normally in mainstream society. Its facilities cover research, offer rehab services, and educate both those with vision impairments and professionals. Lighthouse International also is a leading advocate for vision healthcare on both the state and federal level.Information on the website is very easy to find as the site is user-friendly and well organized. The layout of the Home Page is uncluttered and welcoming yet it gives a summary direction to various services offered on the entire site. "Get the Facts", "Get Help Today", "What’s New". This means that a person just arriving on the page does not have to search long to find what interests him or her. The tabs at the top with self explanatory titles also easily direct a user to their destination – "Home, About, Vision Health, Vision Services, Our Schools, Research, and Donate". The Search field on the sidebar also helps a user find their topic of interest. Since this is a site about vision it makes sense that there will be a function that adjusts the size of the print for the comfort of the reader. The "Help Near You" widget addresses users that arrive at the site from around the world. After filling in the appropriate values, the site will give the address and contact information in the country indicated. These first three widgets remain the same on each (Last Name) 2
page that is viewed whereas, the information that follows varies according the content of the page. It is to be noted that most of the tabbed pages are introductions themselves to further information. For example, the tab "Vision Health", lists all the services available to all groups. Each service is a link that takes the reader to another page with the specific information requested. At the end of each page, is an email address that allows the reader to request even more information for their particular need. This design is very appealing as it keeps each page fairly short and manageable.
For a website on vision, it is interesting there is not much color on many of the pages. The body of the text is a light color background with black font and deep blue links. The side bar is the inverse, with a deep blue background, and white font. This website itself provides the explanation for this lack of color via one of their links (Home >. Accessibility >. Effective Color Contrast). Contrasts are easier to read than colors of a similar hue. In other words, the website, although not visually stimulating, is designed for the reading ease for the majority of its readers. It is still neat and attractive with punches of color in either the photographs or the logos. The photographs themselves add interest and are appropriately related to the page content.
The Lighthouse International website is specifically designed to cater to those with an interest in vision related matters. It is useful for those with problems looking for answers or assistance. This audience would be the general public, no matter what profession or age. It also offers a portal for those who want to donate and assist in the advancement of vision related research. One tab is dedicated to donations and events that raise funds for the continuation of Lighthouse International’s work. The catchy heading "Be a Visionary PhilanthropistDonate Now", is a clever play on words: the funds will not only be for the advancement of research in the field of vision but to support the foresight and imagination of the two sisters who founded the company. In order to attract