Web Design Goodies Critique #8

By Joe Burns

Web Design Goodies Critique #8

Published October 31, 2000 By Joe Burns, Ph.D.

Greetings, Fellow Designers

First off, I should state that this site is not really made for the faint of heart. (If the sight of blood bothers you, you may want to seek out Disney.com instead.) But I was fascinated by it. The site is a textbook of hand surgery. However, it is done in such a way that even a layperson can "enjoy" what is posted. You don't need to have a medical degree to get something out of the site. Every malady that could possibly strike the human hand is shown here in full detail in surgical, x-ray, and still photographs. I lost a half-hour clicking though the pics. Let's look at it. Now the obligatory release statement

>>>>The critique below represents the opinions of Joe Burns, Ph.D. Feel free to disagree, argue, forget, or accept anything he writes. The purpose of the critique is to offer examples that you may use to revise or forget about when it comes to your own Web site. As always, remember that there are simply no hard and fast rules to Web design. Any choice is the correct choice as long as that choice aids the user and fulfills the site's purpose.<<<<

Title:The Electronic Textbook of Hand Surgery
Author:Charles Eaton, M.D
Load Time:9 Seconds, 57kbps modem, cleared cache, 9/15/00 8:23AM
My Screen Size:1024X768
Browsers Used:Internet Explorer 5.5 and Netscape Navigator 4.5

Concept: Would you like to know something about the human hand? Dr. Eaton will help. The site is not specifically for other MDs. I say that because I understood it. I hold a Ph.D., and because of it, I have the ability to use huge words, sound important, and thoroughly confuse students. I'll bet Dr. Eaton could do the same to any one of us, including me--but he doesn't. He has written the content so that anyone can understand what is being posted. You'll find yourself looking at your own five-digit appendages while scrolling through the pages. It's a lot of fun.

Praise: The good doctor has taken steps to find some humor in the subject. Little animations pop up and out. ToolTip boxes have cute little phrases. The site is inviting. The subject can be traumatic, yet from another point of view, uplifting. Dr. Eaton has struck a nice balance between what is serious and what can be lighthearted. That is a very difficult thing to accomplish.

I don't know that many people would consider this praise, but I was impressed that the images and the pages are blatant and quite blunt. Dr. Eaton makes no attempts to hide or mask the gory details. The images are shocking and real. I applaud him for doing that.

Again--please understand this site is not for everyone. Some of the images will shock and disturb, but that is reality and that is what Dr. Eaton deals with. I really enjoyed my time in the site.

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