Usability (2 out of 5)
Unfortunately for a vendor offering web design templates, the graphic layout of SuCasa leaves a bit to be desired. The attempt to provide glitch on their own site gets in the way of easy and intuitive use. For example, there is a basic and advanced search feature. One intuitive thing for someone to do in order to enter a new search is to highlight the old search term and enter a new one. Because the search box is black with white letters, contrasting displays make the highlighting invisible. It appears nothing has happened. If you make a leap of faith and just start typing you do get to enter a new search term.
Design Capabilities (3 out of 5)
SuCasa asks members to upload templates to share or sell, with WebAssist, the host, taking ten percent of sales for handling the process. The templates offered at this point consist of four free ones and approximately 60 additional ranging in price from $9.99 to $59.99. All are claimed to be compatible with Dreamweaver, Expression Web, Coda, or hand-coding. From the description, it appears that working with the designs easily requires additional design software such as WebAssist’s own programs called Eric Meyer’s CSS Sculptor, CSS Menu Writer, or SiteAssist Professional.
Search Features (1 out of 5)
Users can find appropriate designs with a basic or advanced search. In the Advanced screen you can search by Keyword, Categories, by Product, with the three products being those WebAssist programs mentioned above, by color, and by price.
The only way I could get any hits by keyword was to first look at specific designs and then enter a word found on the design. I tried a search on the category of “Bed and Breakfast.” I got two templates, neither of which had anything to do with B&B’s. By using as a keyword the company name on one of the Medical categories, “Blue Mesa,” (after clearing the Medical category box), I did pull up the template. The template had no connection to the medical field. It is hard to see the logic in how the categories are assigned.
Help Options (2 out of 5)
There is no “Help” button to click or any “Contact Us” information. The “About WebAssist” just describes what SuCasa is. There is a link in the FAQs to WebAssist but it just loads the same About page.
Final Conclusion (2 out of 5)
As a final test, I downloaded one of the free templates and tried to use it in Dreamweaver. Short of laboriously copying individual graphics, tags, menu items, and so forth, there didn’t seem to be anything I could do with it without the associated Dreamweaver add-ins available for purchase from WebAssist. Since there is no option to contact SuCasa for help and support on the WebAssist site is for purchasers, this is a program I will leave alone.