Web Design Goodies Critique #11

By Joe Burns

Web Design Goodies Critique #11

Published November 27, 2000 By Joe Burns, Ph.D.

Greetings, Fellow Designers,

The road to search engines is paved with good intentions. I ran across a site submitted to me through this Web Design Newsletter that fascinated me for 20 minutes. In my life, that's a good long time.

The site is called iAppeal and is an Australian-based search engine site that proclaims it is the source for Australian content. I played around in it and to be honest, I'm not really sure what it's doing and if it's finding everything it should. I found myself frustrated. Maybe I am just missing the whole concept.

That's a problem. If I'm missing it, many other people are missing it, too.

Now the obligatory release clause statement...

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

Title: iAppeal Link Engine / Author: Wesley Warren
http://www.iapeal.com.au/index.html
Load Time: 4 Seconds, 56.6kbps modem, cleared cache, 10/22/00 10:21A.M
My Screen Size: 1024X768
Browsers Used: Internet Explorer 5.5 and Netscape Navigator 4.5

Concept: This is a search engine. You enter a word or URL into the overly large search box and click Go. This is all done in a Flash-based environment that has more windows and boxes popping up than is believable. Be careful where you put your mouse. There are very few places on the page that will not flip to a new page or open a second Flash box. The page suggests the site is for Australian content. I think that's the case, because I really had to limit my searches to places I knew were Australian, like Sydney and Melbourne, to get results. Many very basic words like "tree" and "cow" produced no results.

Praise: The site is Flash-based and because of that it is fun to look at...at first. It starts to wear on you after a short while because there are so many little things popping up and screens flipping around. The site does make a point of creating a page just for you and your browser settings. When you log in you get this:

Design Image

Then after less than three seconds, you'll get a second, Flash-based window that looks something like this:

Design Image

Note the pop-up window my mouse is producing. You log in, enter a word, and unlike any other search engine I've been to, this site basically picks a site for you. If I enter "Sydney," I am taken right to a site dealing with the city. I am not given multiple choices. I think that's why I ran into such trouble with more common words. Neither the owners of the site, nor any of the people submitting, have actually made a point of adding the searched word to the database, thus, no results.

I got a lot of nonresponse results. PLUS! When I searched HTML, I got Webmonkey.com rather than HTML Goodies. Oh, well...


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