Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Palmquist Talkin Websites, Woo!

This article was a very structured and very detailed overview of all that a website actually constitutes. I don't think they missed a beat here. The article was very well organized and easy to view -- which I liked, because in this case, they practiced what they preached. The author had said to do the same thing with your website.

I thought the section about navigation tools was particularly interesting and applicable. This is something that I as a website viewer don't often consciously notice, but when it's brought up, I realize that some of my favorite websites really suck at that. I'm all about side menus and quick links, and this article stresses the importance of those, which I like. Out of the organizations they talked about, I'm more a fan of the interlinked organization than the hierarchical organization, because I'd prefer one click and I'm there, rather than having to get into the right category to find the page I want.

I also love the design checklist at the end. I think it covers all the necessary bases for how a website should look, and I definitely plan on consulting that a number of times in this upcoming project.

I couldn't write an entire analysis without complaining though, so here's my only beef... I don't know when this article was written, and although it doesn't show too many signs of age, some of this information might be a little outdated in this current web landscape. Basically, with the emergence of blogs, social networks, streaming digital media, and all of the other crazy shit that's booming online these days, it's hard to apply each and every one of these guidelines today. I mean, who cites their sources nowadays? Is it really necessary to have contact information? Those are the negatives that stood out to me.

Moving on, I went through my bookmarks and found a couple of sites that are relevant to this discussion. A site that I think does an awesome job of navigation, design, organization, etc. is the almighty There's a detailed, interactive menu on each page. There are links everywhere that point you to relevant information. Graphics, fonts, titles, subheadings -- all of that stuff stands out and is aesthetically pleasing. I know they are a mega website and a mega company with tons of employees maintaining that thing around the clock, but they do a damn good job.

A site that needs work is a smaller one that I frequent. It's a website about hip-hop that has sponsored links and a pretty large following. I wouldn't say it's a blog, though some people would. It's actually just a list full of links for users to illegally download songs. has a no nonsense title -- you know exactly what you're getting. But there is no menu, there are randomly placed graphics everywhere, the fonts are bland and small, and with so much content on one page, it's really difficult for certain things to stand out. This dipshit puts "HOTTTT" next to like 5 of the songs he posted every day, and most of them are far from "HOTTTT" -- in fact, they blow. I mean, the least he could do would be to archive his posts somehow. Maybe categorize the songs a little. Make the titles stand out. I don't know, something! With a domain name like that and ready access to free songs, his site definitely has a lot of potential, but that completely inadequate design just holds the whole thing back.

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