Web Design Goodies #13a

By Joe Burns


Concern #2: If you click on the "Band" link, you get to a nice group portrait of the band members. It's in black and white, too. That's a pleasant change from the rest of the site. Furthermore, you've set up the image so that you can click on the faces of the band members to view an individual a bio page for each one. Cool. Thenjust below that is a joke button that asks you to click, then click again, and again, etc. The button is a JavaScript that I think I offered on JavaGoodies. It's a game that really has nothing to do with the page.

Suggestion: My guess is that you posted the JavaScript so that it would be a nice diversion or make the user smile. It does. But it also takes attention off of the page. I came to the page to look at the band--not to play a game. If I like the game, I'll start wondering how I can get one. My interest in the band is pretty much dead at that point.

Concern #3: You've got this site in a frames format, and you have done your best to hide the frame border. Then, you make a point of accentuating it by offering differing backgrounds on subsequent pages. Take a look:

Click for larger image

Suggestion: I see that you've chosen backgrounds that relate to the content of each page, but I think you'd do yourself one better if you kept the same background through the site. Hiding that frame border is a good idea, so don't hide it in the beginning and then make a point of it later in the site.

Concern #4: Beware the flying banner headline. On the same page as above, there's a nice blue background banner header. I actually had to reload the page when I saw it at first because it startled me. It's an applet, I believe. It took it a while to load. In fact, the entire page was loaded and then the banner came flying up into place.

Suggestion: Why did it have to fly into place? First off, it's a sub-page, so the banner header isn't going to tell us anything new. The name of the band has already been introduced. The effect isn't worth the attention it'll draw to itself. Plus...it slowed the completion of the page. I'd lose it altogether and just post a static banner.

PS: Ditto the flying text on the news page.

Concern #5: This is a concern I have about photo pages. You have so many intricate programming deals all over the site, yet where some fancy coding would work, in the photo page for example, the possibilities are often ignored. Your photo page is like any other in that I click to get a photo and an entirely new page pops up. That just takes too long and means a lot of load time.

Suggestion: Write some JavaScript so that when the user clicks on a picture, the image on the same page changes. You could have a ton of images loading in the background. That way, the user receives immediate gratification without waiting for new pages to load. I've seen it done a few times (on CNN.com, for example) and it looks great.

Overall: You've got it, you really do. You have the band page killer app and you stay true to it (except for the games page, but I won't mention that again). Everything you have posted is great and it goes to helping the reader. The problem is you have just a ton of flash that overtakes the content.

I know it's rock-and-roll, but tone it down a bit. I think you'll have a better page.

That's that.

Joe Burns, Ph.D.

Always Remember: When it comes to designing your Web site, the most important person is not you, but rather your user.

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