So as an activity in my web design class I am supposed to look at some successful websites and not so successful ones and give my opinion on them. Well, if you know me at all I don’t mind giving my opinion so here goes!
Websight 1- A non-mainstream website:
This website first of all is from a company that has broken off from the main franchise for whatever reason and they address that in the “home page”. It is actually a Word Press blog disguised as a website believe it or not. I don’t know if that is clever or cheap and lazy? The colors are HORRIBLE and there are not any pictures. My goodness the person picking those colors is color blind.. Oh my.. Ok, first impressions aside; lets digress to how I got here. Well, I looked up Edmond businesses and saw them on an article in “Edmond Active” magazine online where it directed me to, you guessed it, that crazy main franchise website where I tried to look up the Edmond location and could not find one. I then Googled “Edmond Supper Thyme” where I was AGAIN directed to the main franchise page… How are people supposed to find this business? I thought maybe it had closed so when I googled “Edmond Supper Thyme closed” it randomly took me to a link where I saw the date was April 20, 2010. I then went into the article where I found the link to this website….. That leads us to the actual MEAT of the site.
The construction of it is a typical template (looks like) and although boring and UGLY; are somewhat effective. The content is there but it is being served on a dirty trash can lid. The “Choices” tab is first and should be second after the “How it Works” tab that is 3rd.. Wow.. This is a REALLY bad site. I am only in my first semester and I could do a better job and that is saying something! Yeah.. Might hit these people up for a job…
I am a fan of this website because it is easily navigated, doesn’t have crazy colors or flash advertising, and is a great example of “simple busy” product placement. I love to cruise this site for good deals which is what they want me to do so it obviously is a good site that is doing it’s job. I really like the way it remembers where I have gone and what I looked at and it even suggests similar products when I am looking closer at a product which has led me in the past to what I really wanted to buy. A feature I also like is the search bar proudly and largely placed at the top and I have NEVER had any problems with it. The site is also SUPER easy to navigate and I go back regularly because I know it is a site that I can be at for a couple of minutes or an hour and enjoy my experience.
Ok.. This is one of the most popular sites on the web and I believe it is because it has stuck to the BARE basics. No sexy flashy ads, crazy colors, or funky fonts and windows. PLAIN for the plain web surfer. I keep expecting them to re-vamp or do SOMETHING different but it never does and I am actually cool with that. This site meets the needs of it’s readers and doesn’t need to do much more. It is just the ULTIMATE in simplistic design that gets the job done. Hope it never changes.
I KNOW.. This is a VERY popular website but for SOME reason it annoys the living heck out of me. The organization is just weird and scattered and it has advertisements on the side which are SO uncalled for in a company this large. Just seems kinda greedy to me. I put up with ads in sites where a growing company can use a bit more revenue but AMAZON?? please? I personally think they waste a bit too much home page real estate on trying to accomplish too much such as sell me EVERYTHING they have on the site even telling me what other people are buying (like I am supposed to give in to peer pressure or something) and even what other people “wish” for.. It would be nice if they tried to spend a little more space trying to direct me to what I REALLY want instead of blatantly trying to sell me crap I don’t want or need. This site to me is just a big ole mess. HOWEVER once you get into the site and focus on what you want to buy such as a lighting fixture, then the reviews and comparisons on the product are pretty good. Just sad you have to go through a lot of crap to get there.
OK, Here is a PERFECT example of ANNOYING pop-ups and weird “help” floaty windows that follow you around like one of their annoying car salesman in this City Chevy website. You aren’t there for 5 seconds when an annoying “Click here to schedule your oil change” window takes over the screen. The navigation isn’t as bad as some I have seen but it has this CREEPY “live help Chat” window that follows you throughout the website eerily even if you change pages 200 times. I know car salesman have the tendency to think more is more BUT in this case More is just really making me want to click away. They should take them off and use more of a softer sell.
Well, that about does it for this installment of “My opinions on websites”. Check back again with me soon for more exciting topics and discussions on web design and web related activities.