The site I chose to review is The Chocolate Garden: https://chocolategarden.com/
There are 45 images on the home page of this site. The images that are photos are all jpeg images, with the rest being gif images — the logo, a truck drawing and the navigation links. The cumulative file size for all the images is 150.76 KB.
The main purpose of the images used is navigation. All the navigation on the left side of the page — each link, is actually an image. If you hover over the link a small photo of the item the link goes to appears above the navigation list. The largest image for the entire page was the background, including the navigation stripe on the left. It’s actually a jpeg image. I found it surprising the tan base color was an image vs setting the background color. Overall, there are few photos on the page — one of the truffles, one of the outside of the business, one of Midwest Living magazine touting the truffles, one of truffles with the owner in the background.
Once you turn off the images, it becomes very difficult to navigate the site. The entire left side navigation links are images. When you turn off the images, they all become just boxes with a torn paper icon. You can’t see any text or anything else that would help you figure out what it was. The only way to navigate the site once the images are turned off is to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page — there are links along the bottom that are text based. I found it interesting that the background under the ‘background image’ is apparently set to be the same tan color, but you can’t see the plants/darker tan behind the navigation links as that is part of the overall image.
My opinion on the images for this site is they don’t work as they should and more actual photos are needed. The images used for navigation are a mistake. If they are turned off for any reason, navigation becomes nearly impossible unless you realize there are some links at the very bottom of the page. It’s very frustrating trying to proceed through the site with the broken navigation. This navigation is on every page of the site, making it difficult on any page. On the pages where you can order the truffles, the order button is also an image. So again, if the images are turned off for any reason, ordering anything becomes very difficult. There is only one photo on the main page that really shows the product being sold. A few more images of the truffles — the reason for the business, would be helpful to those finding the site for the first time.
I chose this site because the truffles are truly amazing and wonderful. While I have to say the website isn’t what it could or should be, the truffles are epic.
Of course I get to your post right around dinner time! Oh my goodness all this talk about truffles is making me hungry. I absolutely agree with your conclusion that the site is not navigable with images turned off. It is an unfortunate truth too because not everyone is able to see images. Those who are visually impaired will not have any way to get around that website without assistance from someone else. Accessibility is something to keep in mind as we consider other websites this semester and when we start thinking about our own sites.