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Interior Design: Web Resources

Website Evaluation Tutorial

Website Evaluation Tutorial

If you're starting a research assignment and want to do a quick review on how to evaluate websites. Check out our online website evaluation tutorial.

Website Domain Types

.com – Commercial websites

  • Generally created by a business or corporation and is for profit.
  • Provides information on products or is motivated by sales.

.edu – Educational websites

  • Created by a college, university or grade school.
  • Information is provided for academic purposes.
  • Highly regulated and can only be owned by an educational organization.

 .gov – Government websites

  • Created by local, state, and national goverments.
  • Information is provided for the public.
  • Highly regulated and can only be owned by a government organization.

 .org – Organization website

  • Used by both non-profit organizations, for profit corporations and individuals. 
  • Organization websites can be owned by a corporation and be sales motivated, owned by an individual or owned by a non-profit organization that provides information supporting a specific cause or viewpoint.
  • Carefully evaluate non-profit organizations as they can have a particular viewpoint on an issue, so the information they provide can be biased or slanted in order to support their viewpoint.


Web Resources in Interior Design

Evaluating a Website

When deciding whether to use information from a website, whether it be a .com, .edu, or anything else,  you must critically evaluate that information for authenticity and relevance.

Who is it by?- Who is the author of the information? Is it a corporation or business? Is it a researcher in the field? Is it a layperson? Finding out who is posting the information is critical to deciding whether or not the author is an authority on the subject.

Who is it for?- Who is the intended audience? Is the information intended for children, general readers, shoppers, etc?

When?- How old is the information you are looking at? Do you need information that is relatively recent or is older information okay?

How much?- How extensive is the information presented? Is the topic covered in-depth, or is it just a sub-topic of more general coverage.  How does the topic coverage compare to other websites on the same topic? Are there links to more information? Do the links go to other parts of the website or do they go to outside websites?

Why?- Why is the author posting this information? There are several possible reasons, including to:

  • Inform- the author is simply stating informational facts, such as dates.
  • Explain- the author is explaining a subject.
  • Entertain- the author is attempting to entertain the reader.
  • Persuade- the author is striving to change your point of view on a subject.
  • Sell- the author is trying to get you to purchase something.


Google Advanced Search

Google Advanced Search


Quick Tip: If you are searching Google for a website with a specific domain, such as a .gov or .edu, when you type in your search add "site:" and the domain type at the end of your search term. For example, if you wanted to find government websites on gun control, type in "gun control". Or if you wanted to specifically search for non-profit websites that had information on wildlife, type in "wildlife".

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