Web Design Goodies Critique #33

By Joe Burns

Web Design Goodies Critique #33

Published May 3, 2001 By Joe Burns, Ph.D.

Greetings, Fellow Designers

It seems I am stuck in the U.K. This will be the second site I'll critique that calls England home. I guess it's only fitting. I've been to London three times and hope to return twenty more. My wife and I have even contemplated moving there.

All that asidelet's talk Brasserie.

Now the obligatory release clause 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, repair, or forget 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: The New Street Brasserie
Author: Calvin Dunkley
Load Time: 31 Seconds, 57kps modem, cleared cache, 4/30/01 1:55PM.
My Screen Size: 1024X768
Browsers Used: Internet Explorer 5.5 and Netscape Navigator 4.5

Concept: This is the Web page for the New Street Brasserie. If you giggled the first time you saw the word Brasserie, let me assure you, you won't find that there. Brasserie is French. It means brewery. I'll bet you can get some good food and drink there. The site caught my eye because of the images it posted. I don't mean the pretty pictures of the building either I mean the images up top. I'll get to them in a moment.

Praise: Now and again, I just like a site. I just like the colors. I just like the topic and I find myself playing around inside. I'll look at 20 to 30 sites each time I set to writing one of these critiques. I find that the sites that keep me clicking around are usually the ones I critique. This is just such a site.

Here's another bit of praise I have for the site, I don't see any major concerns. There's nothing that jumps out and bites me. There's nothing right off that I would say is a major concern. What I have for today's site are some minor concerns. By that, I mean the concerns can be fixed quickly and with little effort.

1. Minor Concern: The homepage took a long, long time to load and I'm usually a fairly patient guy. The reason is the banner heading across the top of the page. Here's the same page as above with the inline images turned off.

See how the banner across the top is made up of many small images? Well, if I count correctly, there are 25 images showing and six hidden. The hidden six will pop up when onMouseOvers are performed on the six links.

Is that the only reason for the image being made up of so many little images?

Suggestion: If so, let me ask you if the effect is really worth it. The loading of so many images slowed the page a great deal. Could you not simply make that banner nine images with six hidden? Maybe you could even make it one image and set it to an image map.

I believe that load time is very important. Yes, it's a neat effect, but is it worth the slow load time?

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