Web Design Goodies Critique #13

By Joe Burns

Greetings, Fellow Designers,

Ladies and gentlemen...

Are you ready?!!!

Then put your hands together for the pride of Baldwinsville, NY.

Flatface and the Shemp-Dells!

Flatface and the Shemp-Dells are your basic, good-time, party-until-the-sun-comes-up band. I listened to a few of their songs and these guys rock. I have no doubt they are a blast in concert. See them if you get the chance. I'm on the other side of the U.S., so unless they come to New Orleans, I'm pretty much out of the loop, and I'll have to listen just online.

If you're a band--you better have a Web site. If you don't have one, get one quick. Flatface and the Shemp-Dells are online and the site has everything a band's Web page should have. It really does, but...

As David Lee Roth once said, "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing to excess." Let's check out the site.

Now the obligatory release clause...

>>>>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 revise your site, 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: Flatface and the Shemp-Dells / Author: David Farrar
http://www.shemp-dells.com/
Load Time: 11 Seconds, 56-Kbps modem, cleared cache, 10/25/00 1:27 P.M.
My Screen Size: 1024X768
Browsers Used: Internet Explorer 5.5 and Netscape Navigator 4.5

Concept: Band page. Pure and simple. We are a band. We want people to know who we are, listen to a few of our songs, see us in concert, and maybe buy our CD. That's it in a nutshell. That's the "killer app" of a basic band page.

Praise: The first thing I liked about this page was that is stayed true to the basic band page killer app I noted just above. (OK, there's a games link, too.) It doesn't attempt to be all things to all people, or deal with politics. Furthermore, the author has set the pages up so that they attempt to relate the feeling of the band. This is a party band. The pages should be full of color and give a festive impression, and they do. I liked the page. It drew me in. I wanted to hear the band and I wanted to see them live.

One of the things that are often missing from a music page is just that--music. Here the band offers up song clips in RealAudio format. It shows that they are forward-thinking. They are not just offering up WAV files, but have taken the time to put the music into a streaming format. That's not as easy as it seems.

It's all here...with a vengeance!

Concern #1: When someone enters a page, their eyes are immediately drawn to one or two key places on the page. That's why you don't want to fill your Web pages with tons of animation and applets. If everything screams out to be viewed, how can I, the user, possibly see what I am supposed to read? On just the home page, there is an applet navigation, scrolling text over the band's picture, dancing 7-Up characters, flashing diamonds, a guest book that writes itself, and an animation asking readers to vote for the band in an online music contest.

Click for larger image

Wow.

Suggestion: Sensory overload. What is it you want the people to look at first? My guess would be the band. If sothen make that photo of the band stand out. Do your links really need to swirl all by themselves? No. Use applets and animation to draw the eye...not blind it. Remember, I can only say "Oooooooh" once. After that the effect begins to wear out its welcome rather quickly.




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