A little girl staring at a sandwhich saying "mmm I want extra crap on my shit sandwich"

Auditing Can Be Fun: Final Steps for Module #2

Forrest Gump saying "Audit is like a box of chocolates; you don't never know what you gonna get"

The Shit Sandwich: Nice / Mean / Nice

Your recommendations should follow the model of a shit sandwich: nice things, followed by critical things, followed by a way out for the client. Notice how this writer starts out with something that is effective about the website, even if it is a minor thing:

After reviewing Alfred Sung’s website (www.alfredsung.com), the contrast between the background and the font color was extremely easy to distinguish between. The white background and black font color made the website very easy to follow and refrains from straining a viewer’s eyes or making the content difficult to read/understand. In addition, other effective aspects include the use of clear, detailed images displaying products, easy to read fonts, and informative information about both the designer and brand (as pictured below).

This makes the client more receptive to negative feedback.

Use Findings to Educate the Client

Think of your findings as directions for someone who doesn’t know what an effective website should do. Notice how this writer uses an educational tone to point out what the client could do better:

The first thing that jumps out at you when you open a web page is its visual design. This is where first impressions make a huge difference! If the web page looks appealing and is clear and appropriate for the item they are selling, then customers will remain on the site and navigate through your page rather than immediately switching to a different company site. In terms of your website, the color scheme of the font with the picture of the Juice stand against the background could be more effective. You don’t want customers to be confused or begin to doubt the credibility of the company based on the color scheme. Alternatively, you want to keep customers interested in the product that you’re trying to sell.


This is polite, but also instructive. The exact kind of balance you want to strike with your tone.

Put Analysis Adjacent to Examples

Be sure that your analysis is right next to an example, each and every time. Notice how the above writer pairs their analysis with a screenshot of the client’s website. It’s easy for clients to get confused if you’re using terms like “links” or “visuals,” which can apply to lots of different components.

Make your screenshots bigger than the above, however, so that the reader can see all the details.

Recommendations Need to Give Clients a Way Out of the Shit of Their Website

Think of the recommendations in your take-away section as the bread that cushions the shit of the shit sandwich by providing the client a way out of their shitty website. Notice how this writer tells the reader concrete steps they can take to improve their website:

Uglytub.com is a good starting point for a professional web-page. Changing to a more attractive color scheme and reducing the visual clutter would be a tremendous step in the right direction. Also, consider using photos from your company as it works as opposed to the generic stock photos on the main page, clients would prefer to see actual employees over a generic plumber/service van. The most severe problem with Ugly Tub is that the web-page offers very little interactive content, the competitor’s web-pages allow potential clients to explore their web-pages by way of drop-down tabs and lists.

You need to explain how the client can take concrete actions that will result in their website being less shitty, based on the findings of your audit.

Be Sure You Cover All Elements of Your Audit

You should include information on the following categories from your audit:

  • Visual design
  • Typography
  • Content
  • Interaction design

As discussed in class, however, you should not use any of these terms (except content). Use commonsense terms to describe each of these elements.

This also means that you need a link, screenshot, or quote for each of these elements in order to explain the situation to the client for each.

Also, Be Sure You Use Positive Examples From Your Comparators

Clients need to see that what you’re telling them is possible. Be sure you are using positive examples from your comparator website throughout your report. Anything you mention that is negative about your client’s existing website should include a positive example from your comparator.

What’s Due Wednesday at Midnight

6) 10/3/18 by midnight ET >>

Revise all documents you’ve created. The point of these reviews is to help you improve your writing. This process will be negated if the draft you submit to Eli is the same as the draft you hand in as your final. Revise, revise, revise.

Be sure you log in to Eli to see what you reviewers said about your draft as you work on your final draft. Listen to your reviewers and make critical choices to improve your documents based on what they say.

Post your Cover Letter and a final draft of your Content Recommendation Report to Blackboard.

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